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Asthma Poorly Controlled, On The Rise Regionally, Says Study

A new report says asthma rates are continuing to rise in New England — where asthma rates are already the highest in the nation.

The report by the Asthma Regional Council of New England also finds the disease is poorly controlled in most patients.

Laurie Stillman, the study's co-author, says the failure to control the chronic illness can be traced to a systemic problem in health care nationwide.

Stillman says the council's next step is to convince health insurers to change that.

"If (insurers) invest in asthma education and environmental interventions in people's homes, that they will get a return on investment — a savings," Stillman said.

Stillman says employers should also work to keep allergens out of the workplace and negotiate health coverage that addresses asthma better.

"They can begin to design that coverage in a way that covers asthma education, and environmental interventions in the home, and also can offset those expensive co-pays," she said.

This program aired on April 26, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

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