Last Updated: February 2023
Author: Asthma Program, Vermont Department of Health
There has been a downward trend in the rates of hospitalization for asthma among those 5-64 years of age. In 2014, the VT rate was 3.1 per 10,000 and lower than the Healthy Vermonter goal of 4.2 hospitalizations per 10,000 people. Having achieved that target, it was reset to 3.0%! The VT rate has been less than half of the U. S. rate when comparing the most recent U.S. data available (3.8 vs. 10.5 in 2010).
The reason for the decreasing rate of hospitalizations for asthma is unclear, the decrease may be due to a program of comprehensive asthma control efforts being initiated in 2009 with support of a CDC grant. The Vermont Asthma Program began to expand efforts to promote national asthma best practices, including supporting regional hospitals with high asthma prevalence to provide home visiting for environmental trigger identification and elimination of those things that can exacerbate asthma and provide intensive asthma self-management education (AS-ME) to persistent uncontrolled or high-risk patients – with special emphasis on pediatric populations. These partners also worked to develop clinical protocols to improve asthma-related hospital discharge protocols to reduce readmissions. The second 5-year CDC grant cycle started in 2014 allowing spread to additional regional hospitals of best practices shown to work, with new elements focusing on a learning collaborative of health care providers implementing asthma best practices and monitoring outcomes in patient care.
Another reason for the decrease over time could be from the myriad of initiatives hospitals and federal programs are employing to reduce hospitalization‐related costs. It does appear that the decreases are being sustained overtime.
The Vermont rate has consistently been less than the U.S. Healthy People 2020 target of 8.2 per 10,000 when it comes to hospitalizations for asthma in the 5-64 age group. The hospitalization rate for Vermonters aged 5-64 has reached an all time low at 3.1 per 10,000 in 2014 and remained at that level in 2015.
NOTE: The rates in this scorecard include hospitalizations of Vermont residents that took place in Vermont and neighboring states. The nearest hospital for many Vermont residents is out-of-state. The approach of the Vermont Asthma Program therefore has been to report full data including Vermont residents treated in adjacent states. Due to changes in data collection and processing technologies, updated data from NY and NH has been delayed and so the most recent data available for this indicator is from 2016. This indicator will be updated when more recent data is available.