Recommended preventive care following an asthma admission includes prescribing controller medications and encouraging outpatient follow-up. We sought to determine (1) the proportion of patients who receive controller medications or attend follow-up after asthma admission and (2) what factors predict these outcomes.
South Carolina Medicaid data from 2007-2009 were analyzed. Patients who were included were 2 to 18 years old, and had at least one admission for asthma. Variables examined were: age, gender, race, and rural location. Outcome variables were controller medication prescription and follow-up appointment. Any claim for an inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) or ICS/long-acting beta-agonist in the 2 months after admission was considered appropriate. Any outpatient visit for asthma in the 2 months after admission was considered appropriate. Bivariate analyses used chi-square tests. Logistic regression models identified factors that predict controller medications and follow-up.
Five hundred five patients were included, of whom 60% were male, 79% minority race/ethnicity, and 58% urban. Rates of receiving controller medications and attending follow-up appointments were low, and an even lower proportion received both. Overall, 52% received a controller medication, 49% attended follow-up, and 32% had both. Multivariable analyses demonstrated that patients not of minority race or ethnicity were more likely to receive controller medications (odds ratio, 1.7; 95% confidence interval, 1.1-2.6).
Patients with asthma admitted for acute exacerbations in South Carolina have low rates of controller medication initiation and follow-up attendance. Minority race/ethnicity patients are less likely to receive controller medications. To decrease rates of future exacerbations, inpatient providers must improve the rates of preventive care delivery in the acute care setting with a focus on racial/ethnic minority populations.