Childhood asthma and obesity are epidemic. As of 2010, the CDC reports that nearly 7 million U.S. children have asthma. The chronic illness takes a terrible toll on children in underserved areas. Access to care issues lead to increased ER admissions and significantly higher costs for caregivers and families.
"I think it has helped [my son] manage his asthma as a 7-year old … It can almost be like a life-saving awareness program because a lot of people don't know … the signs of an asthma attack. Once you come to Healthy Hoops, you're aware of everything."
- Healthy Hoops participant
AmeriHealth Caritas identified these chronic conditions and their impact among our membership. To address them, we created Healthy Hoops—a hands-on basketball event for children ages 3 to 18. The initiative teaches kids, parents, and extended families how to manage their asthma and weight through appropriate use of medication, proper nutrition, monitored exercise and recreational activities.
Since the program's 2003 debut in Philadelphia, we've expanded Healthy Hoops to parts of South Carolina, Indiana, Kentucky, Florida and Georgia. More than 8,000 children and their families have taken part. And the program is not just for AmeriHealth Caritas members. We promote each event community wide, even arranging transportation to ensure maximum outreach.
By partnering with local health care providers, community organizations, celebrities, and national advocates like the American Lung Association, Healthy Hoops has helped reduce ER visits and hospital stays related to asthma.
As reported by families, the program also:
One-to-one clinical support, education, and follow-up care for asthma, obesity, high blood pressure and other related issues make Healthy Hoops one of the most comprehensive intervention programs available. In fact, it has been recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) and America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) for innovation and leadership.