Date of Award

12-16-2011

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Department

Public Health

First Advisor

Rodney Shawn Lyn

Second Advisor

Francesca Lopez

Abstract

Asthma prevalence continues to increase across the United States of America, affecting more than 43.1 million people and projected to affect over 50 million people by 2025. Asthma prevalence differs by demographic characteristics, such as race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, education, age and gender. Poor quality of life is common among people who suffer from asthma, in addition to school and work absenteeism. In 2008, children 5-17 years old with at least one reported asthma attack missed 10.5 million school days in the past year (CDC, 2010). Healthcare use for asthma is high and disparities remain in asthma healthcare use and reimbursement. In community settings, reimbursement for asthma education and prevention has been problematic due to current reimbursement mechanisms (Bodenheimer et al. (2003); Halterman (2010); CDC (2011) and Laster et al. 2010) that do not go far enough in assisting low-income communities manage their asthma medically nor have uniform standards for billable services associated with asthma management provided by both healthcare professionals and public health workers. A change in reimbursement policy is advocated and the evidence for the effectiveness of community health workers in asthma management is examined.

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Public Health Commons

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