Stepping down asthma medications is a chronic disease management strategy that may limit potential side effects, reduce treatment burden, and decrease costs. Our preliminary findings suggest that we may not be treating some individuals with enough asthma medications and treating others with more than they need. We hypothesize that individuals with stable asthma who step down their asthma medications will have similar asthma outcomes and decreased total medical expenditures compared to those that do not step down asthma medication. We will use individuals participating in the nationally representative Medical Expenditure Panel Survey to compare 1 year baseline asthma medication dispensing, asthma exacerbation rates, and medical expenditures to the subsequent year in the same individuals. Understanding which strategies are effective for saving money and maintaining favorable clinical outcomes is important for individuals with asthma who have experienced increasing costs associated with managing their disease.
This study will analyze what happens to people with asthma when they decrease their chronic asthma medicines. Using information that has already been collected from people with asthma, we are testing the theory that there are some people with asthma who can safely decrease their chronic asthma medications without having more problems with their asthma and that overall this may save them money.