262091 Revenue lost to California schools because of asthma-related absences

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 8:45 AM - 9:00 AM

Meredith Milet, MPH , California Breathing, Impact Assessment Inc. (Contractor to the California Department of Public Health), Richmond, CA
Scott Kessler , California Breathing, Impact Assessment Inc. (Contractor to the California Department of Public Health), Richmond, CA
Background: In California, approximately 1 in 7 school-aged children has asthma. These children miss an average of 1-2 days of school per year because of their asthma. These absences impact their and their families' quality of life. For public schools, these absences also result in revenue losses. Purpose: To estimate the yearly revenue lost to California public schools because of asthma-related absences. Significance: Asthma advocates in California have expressed strong interest in enumerating the costs of asthma-related absences. Schools can consider these costs when evaluating programs designed to reduce exposure to asthma triggers and/or enhance asthma management in schools. Methodology: The 2009 California Health Interview Survey was used to estimate the number of public school days missed due to asthma. Data from the California Department of Education (2008-2009) were used to calculate the amount each school district receives per student-day. The enrollment-weighted average revenue for California was applied to the number of days missed to estimate the total revenue loss for all asthma-related absences. Results: In 2009, there were an estimated 1.1 million school days missed due to asthma in California. This translates to approximately $30.2 million in revenue lost, or an average of $31,000 for each of the 975 school districts. Conclusions: Absences due to asthma result in revenue losses to California schools that could potentially be offset by public health interventions. These data can be used in evaluating the implementation of policies related to asthma and the school environment. Further calculations should extrapolate these data to local areas.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Communication and informatics
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the process for estimating school revenue losses due to asthma absences. 2. Demonstrate the budgetary importance of asthma control policies in schools.

Keywords: Asthma, School Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been an epidemiologist with the asthma program for 6 years and have extensive experience with the data used in this research. I track asthma data to measure the burden of asthma in California and disseminate it though fact sheets and reports. I have a MPH in epidemiology and biostatistices at UC Berkeley School of Public Health. I have multiple publications in peer reviewed professional journals.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.