Background: Caregivers who smoke and have children with asthma are an important group for intervention. Home-based interventions successfully reduce asthma morbidity, yet are costly. This study evaluated the financial return on investment (ROI) of the Parents of Asthmatics Quit Smoking (PAQS) program, a combined asthma education and smoking cessation intervention.
Methods: Participants included caregivers (n = 224) that smoked, had a child with asthma, and were enrolled in a Medicaid managed care plan. Participants received nurse-delivered asthma education and smoking counseling in three home visits. Program implementation costs were estimated, and healthcare expenses were obtained from insurance claims data 12 months pre- and 12 months post intervention. ROI was calculated for all participants, children <6 years, children 6-18 years, and children with moderate/severe persistent asthma.
Results: Total program implementation cost was $34,481. After intervention, there was increased mean annual refills of beta-agonist (0.51 pre, 1.64 post; P < 0.001), and controller medications (0.65 pre, 2.44 post; P < 0.001). Reductions were found in mean annual emergency department visits (0.33 pre, 0.14 post; P < 0.001), hospitalizations (0.23 pre, 0.08 post; P < 0.001), and outpatient visits (2.33 pre, 1.45 post, P < 0.001). The program had negative ROI (-21.8%) for the entire sample. The ROI was positive (+106.9) for children <6 years, negative (-150.3) for children 6-18, and negligible for moderate/severe persistent asthma (+6.9%).
Conclusion: PAQS was associated with increased medication use and decreased healthcare utilization. While the overall ROI for PAQS was negative, PAQS had a positive ROI for caregivers of young children with asthma.
Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.