Impact of a pharmaceutical care incentive program on the asthma medication ratio among pediatric patients with persistent asthma enrolled in a Medicaid program. Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: Asthma is one of the leading chronic disease states in pediatric patients in Texas. Pharmacy-led interventions such as targeted asthma education, scheduled consultations, and monitoring have shown success in improving asthma outcomes. However, no studies have evaluated the impact of the pharmaceutical care incentive (PCI) programs on Texas Medicaid pediatric beneficiaries. OBJECTIVES: To (1) describe the prevalence of asthma medication utilization and persistent asthma among Medicaid pediatric patients in Texas Health Service Region 11 (HSR 11) and (2) describe the prevalence and impact of PCI program interventions offered by pharmacists to Medicaid pediatric patients or their caregivers at the point-of-service in their medication utilization and asthma medication ratio (AMR). METHODS: This study used a 2-year longitudinal assessment of Medicaid pharmacy claims for beneficiaries aged between 0 and 18 years, with continuous enrollment, and at least 1 asthma medication claim during 2018 and 2019. The prevalence of asthma medication utilization during the study period was described. Also, the prevalence of PCI interventions among beneficiaries with at least 1 asthma medication was described. The prevalence of PCI interventions was also estimated for beneficiaries with persistent asthma. The AMR for beneficiaries with persistent asthma was calculated and compared for those with and without at least 1 PCI intervention. RESULTS: 22,051 beneficiaries with continuous enrollment between the ages of 0 and 18 years and with at least 1 pharmacy claim for an asthma medication during the study period were included. The overall prevalence of asthma medication utilization was 14.55%. 374 (1.70%) beneficiaries with at least 1 asthma medication received at least 1 asthma PCI intervention. Among beneficiaries that received at least 1 asthma PCI intervention, 158 (42.25%) were on rescue medication only; 4 (1.07%) were on maintenance medication only; and 212 (56.68%) were on rescue and maintenance medications. The overall prevalence of persistent asthma was 4.86%. 52 (0.76%) persistent asthma cases received at least 1 asthma PCI intervention after the index date. The overall unadjusted mean AMR (SD) for the 6,885 beneficiaries with persistent asthma was 0.50 (0.19). The adjusted AMR (SD) among beneficiaries with persistent asthma was reported at 0.530 (0.026) for beneficiaries who received at least 1 PCI intervention and 0.483 (0.002) for beneficiaries who did not receive a PCI intervention (P = 0.066). Beneficiaries with persistent asthma generated 64.35% of the total asthma pharmacy claims during 2019. CONCLUSIONS: Despite a high utilization of asthma medications among Medicaid pediatric beneficiaries, pharmacists servicing this group are underusing the PCI program interventions. An increase in the AMR among patients with persistent asthma receiving PCI interventions was observed when compared with those without PCI interventions. However, the difference was not statistically significant. Subsequent studies should include larger groups of beneficiaries receiving PCI interventions to establish the effect of PCI interventions on AMR before widespread implementation. DISCLOSURES: This research project was supported by the Global Institute for Hispanic Health (GIHH) through research grant M1803961. The authors have nothing to disclose. A part of this study was presented as a poster at the AMCP 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting and Exposition Meeting, April 21-24, 2020.

author list (cited authors)

  • Hernández-Muñoz, J. J., Kamdar, C. R., Zhong, L., Alonzo, J., & Sprenger, L.

publication date

  • June 2021