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Program helps with cost of asthma diagnosis and treatment

May 14, 2002

Bismarck, N.D. - The Department of Human Services' Children's Special Health Services Unit wants families to know about a program that can help cover the diagnosis and treatment costs of children with asthma. Asthma was added to the agency's list of over 100 qualifying chronic health conditions in October 2000.

Program manager Kora Dockter said, "Asthma is one of the most common chronic childhood diseases. Yet, serious attacks and hospitalizations may be preventable if asthma is diagnosed and properly managed. We want families who suspect their children have asthma to know that there is help available. Families who have health insurance often struggle with medical costs, copayments and deductibles. This diagnostic and treatment program can help both insured and uninsured families."

Dockter said the program helps pay for diagnostic testing, follow-up treatment services, referrals to specialists, allergy testing, allergy shots, some medications and supplies, and if needed, inpatient hospitalization. If asthma is diagnosed, families must meet income guidelines to qualify for financial help with treatment. A family of four earning up to $33,485 may qualify. Families earning more may qualify for cost sharing. Families must apply through a county social service office. For information, call (800) 755-2714.

Children's Special Health Services actively participates in the State Asthma Work Group, which is working to raise awareness about asthma in order to assure that children with asthma are diagnosed and receive appropriate treatment. In 2000, an estimated one of every 14 children between the ages of one and 17 who were enrolled in Blue Cross Blue Shield or Medicaid health coverage had asthma.


Kora Dockter, R.N., Department of Human Services, Children's Special Health Services Unit, (701) 328-4854
Heather Steffl, Department of Human Services, Public Information Specialist, (701) 328-4933


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