Childhood Asthma Healthcare Utilization

This data shows healthcare utilization for asthma by Allegheny County residents 18 years of age and younger. It counts asthma-related visits to the Emergency Department (ED), hospitalizations, urgent care visits, and asthma controller medication dispensing events.

The asthma data was compiled as part of the Allegheny County Health Department’s Asthma Task Force, which was established in 2018. The Task Force was formed to identify strategies to decrease asthma inpatient and emergency utilization among children (ages 0-18), with special focus on children receiving services funded by Medicaid. Data is being used to improve the understanding of asthma in Allegheny County, and inform the recommended actions of the task force. Data will also be used to evaluate progress toward the goal of reducing asthma-related hospitalization and ED visits.

Regarding this data, asthma is defined using the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (IDC-10) classification system code The ICD-10 system is used to classify diagnoses, symptoms, and procedures in the U.S. healthcare system.

Children seeking care for an asthma-related claim in 2017 are represented in the data. Data is compiled by the Health Department from medical claims submitted to three health plans (UPMC, Gateway Health, and Highmark). Claims may also come from people enrolled in Medicaid plans managed by these insurers. The Health Department estimates that 74% of the County’s population aged 0-18 is represented in the data.

Users should be cautious of using administrative claims data as a measure of disease prevalence and interpreting trends over time. Missing from the data are the uninsured, members in participating plans enrolled for less than 90 continuous days in 2017, children with an asthma-related condition that did not file a claim in 2017, and children participating in plans managed by insurers that did not share data with the Health Department.

Data users should also be aware that diagnoses may also be subject to misclassification, and that children with an asthmatic condition may not be diagnosed. It is also possible that some children may be counted more than once in the data if they are enrolled in a plan by more than one participating insurer and file a claim on each policy in the same calendar year.

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Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
Public Access Level Comment

Data has been aggregated across insurance providers by census tract.

Temporal Coverage 2017
Geographic Unit Census Tract
Data Notes

Medical claims for children covered by other insurers or who were enrolled in plans for less than 90 days are not included in the data.

Related Document(s) Data dictionary
Frequency - Data Change Not Updated (Historical Only)
Frequency - Publishing Not Updated (Historical Only)
Data Steward Josh Feldmiller
Data Steward Email Josh Feldmiller