Eliminating Disparities in Asthma Care: Identifying Broad Challenges in Quality Improvement

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Racial disparities in asthma care persist in New York State’s Medicaid Program. African Americans with asthma experience higher rates of emergency department visits and inpatient hospitalizations, coupled with lower rates of long-term control medication use compared to other racial/ethnic groups. Within this context, and with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the New York State Department of Health designed and implemented the Eliminating Disparities in Asthma Care (EDAC) Collaborative to improve the quality of asthma care delivered in 7 provider sites located in Central Brooklyn, New York. EDAC was a partnership of the New York State Medicaid and Asthma Control Programs, 6 New York City–based managed care plans, and community-based health care providers. Over the 5-year funding period, improvements in documented asthma severity diagnosis and control classification were observed. This article describes the EDAC approach, successes, and challenges.

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