HealthDay News–Proactive interventions such as asthma self-management education, flu vaccination, and use of spacers with inhalers cut medical costs for low-income children with asthma, according to a study published online Oct. 10 in the Journal of Asthma.

Melike Yildirim, from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, and colleagues used patient data from Medicaid Analytic eXtract files to identify patients with persistent asthma in 2010 and 2011 from New York and Michigan. The impact of a set of interventions, including asthma self-management education, influenza vaccination, spacers, and nebulizers, was assessed for health care utilization and expenditures.

The researchers found that all of the interventions reduced both utilization and asthma medication costs. Asthma self-management education, nebulizers, and spacer interventions reduced the probability of emergency department utilization (20.8 to 1.5 percent) and inpatient utilization (3.5 to 0.8 percent). Influenza vaccination was associated with a decreased probability of primary care physician visits (6 to 3.5 percent).

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“This work shows that you can improve the quality of life for children with asthma and you can reduce government spending by implementing these proactive interventions,” a coauthor said in a statement.

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