More than 17 percent of New York City's children suffer from asthma, and the disease is the single greatest health-related cause for missed school days. New York City has almost twice the rate of childhood asthma hospitalizations as the rest of the nation, and in some neighborhoods, asthma hospitalization rates for children up to age 14 are nearly four times the national rate. According to the New York City Health Department, one in eight New Yorkers over the age of 18 have been diagnosed with asthma at some point in their life, a figure that is almost 30 percent higher than the national average.
HHC facilities are fully engaged in treating asthma by following best clinical treatment standards, ensuring that primary care physicians prescribe the most effective asthma medications and create a customized asthma action plan for each patient. Education and outreach to patients and families in the community also play a major role.
Adults or children with severe asthma too often find themselves hospitalized, if their asthma is not well-controlled. Fortunately, our clinicians have been increasingly effective in helping patients manage their asthma and stay out of emergency rooms and hospital beds.
To measure our effectiveness in helping our patients better manage their disease, we have used claims data to track those patients who are members of HHC's health plan, MetroPlus, and who receive their primary care from an HHC provider. Because we can track all hospital admissions for these asthma patients, even if they occur outside our system, it most accurately reflects whether our care is reducing the incidence of hospitalizations for asthma patients under our care.
The data below represents the rate of hospitalization for more than 19,000 adult and pediatric asthma patients under our care and insured by MetroPlus, and it shows that our efforts over the last four years are steadily reducing the incidence of hospitalization among our asthma patients.
Pediatric and Adult Asthma
Hospital Admission Rate for MetroPlus Patients*
2007 - 2011