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Agency for Healthcare Research Quality

Asthma Return-on-Investment Calculator

Welcome to the Asthma Return-on-Investment (ROI) Calculator. This is a tool for exploring potential financial returns from quality improvement and disease management programs for populations diagnosed with asthma.

With this tool, State health policymakers, State Medicaid managers, private health plan officials, and others can examine what research, as of March 2007, implies about cost savings from improving asthma care.

Asthma care improvement programs typically follow the guidelines of the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP). The NAEPP calls for education of patients and providers to better manage the disease. The NAEPP activities for patients focus on self-management to help patients avoid triggers, anticipate problems, and use medications appropriately. The activities for providers focus on accurate diagnosis, appropriate medication prescribing, patient monitoring, and patient education on how to maintain control and avoid attacks. Often education leads to reductions in the need for hospitalization, emergency department visits, urgent office visits, and missed work or school days due to asthma attacks. Ultimately, these reductions save health care dollars and improve productivity.

This Asthma ROI Calculator provides estimates based on an analysis of 52 research studies on improving asthma care and what those studies imply for cost savings. It also provides:

  • Information on how asthma-related costs are likely to change for:
    • Emergency department visits
    • Hospital stays
    • Outpatient visits
    • Medications
    • Ancillary testing
    • Missed school or work days
  • Options to describe benefits and costs from a third-party payer or societal perspective.
  • Ability to test strategies in designing an asthma care improvement program for:
    • Children, adults, or both
    • All asthma patients, or only those with persistent asthma
    • Medicaid, employer-sponsored insurance, or State employees
    • Savings of direct medical costs and productivity gains
    • Length of the program
    • Vendor cost of the program
  • Default population and asthma prevalence data for the 50 States and the District of Columbia.
  • Flexibility to enter baseline data for your own population (a State program, national program, or private health insurance plan) for most components of the calculator.
  • Ability to choose the rigor of the research design to use in estimating savings.

This tool was supported by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (Contract No. HHSA-290-2006-00009-C) and built by Thomson Reuters (formerly Thomson Healthcare). For further information, contact technical support at