CHECK - multilevel real-world pediatric asthma care coordination: results and lessons learned

J Asthma. 2023 Jun;60(6):1061-1071. doi: 10.1080/02770903.2022.2129063. Epub 2022 Oct 13.


Objective: Because asthma health disparities in children remain common, innovative approaches to obtain asthma health equity are essential. Comprehensive care coordination programs may address the social determinants of health that influence these disparities. This analysis aims to ascertain if receipt of Coordination of Healthcare for Complex Kids (CHECK) program services was associated with changes in school absence, cost, healthcare utilization, and controller prescription in children with asthma.

Methods: The CHECK program ran from December 1, 2014 through August 31, 2017. Engagement with community health workers was rolling and targeted based on risk level (low, medium, or high determined by healthcare utilization). This analysis included school-aged children with asthma (n = 2,629) and sufficient Chicago Public Schools attendance data (n = 430).

Results: Children engaged in CHECK were more likely to be female (p = .046) and to identify as Black and/or Hispanic/Latino than enrolled-only children. School absence was not different between the groups. Average total cost for engaged children was 21.3% more than enrolled-only children the first year (p = .027) but did not differ by the second year (p = .948). At baseline, 68.1% of the cohort had at least one ED visit 12 months prior to CHECK, this reduced to 49.5% post-1 and 41.9% post-2. Engaged children were 21% more likely to visit an ED (p = .010) and 40% more likely to have a controller.

Conclusions: CHECK program receipt was associated with improved healthcare utilization and controller prescriptions. School attendance did not change. The CHECK model offers potential pathways to support low-income children with asthma.

Keywords: Health disparities; community health workers; health services research; multilevel interventions; patient navigators.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Asthma* / drug therapy
  • Asthma* / epidemiology
  • Chicago
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Poverty
  • Schools