Use of Appropriate Medications for People with Asthma

INACTIVE REVIEW: This measure review is older than five years.

The percentage of patients 5-64 years of age during the measurement year who were identified as having persistent asthma and who were appropriately prescribed medication during the measurement year

Date Reviewed: July 26, 2015

Measure Info

NQF 0036 NQF Endorsement Removed
Measure Type
Measure Steward
National Committee for Quality Assurance
Clinical Topic Area

Care Setting
Clinician Office/Clinic
Data Source
Administrative Claims
Electronic Pharmacy Data
Paper Medical Records

ACP supports NQF 0036 with modifications: “Use of Appropriate Medications for People with Asthma (ASM).” Appropriate medication management for patients with asthma can prevent, and in some cases reverse the disease process. Evidence shows that therapeutic approaches allow most people who have asthma to participate fully in activities they choose. ACP supports this measure with modifications because the numerator specifications include medications that are not commonly used in practice such as theophylline, potassium iodide, and guaifenesin. Although sustained release theophylline is a mild to moderate bronchodilator, it is used as a non-preferred adjunctive alternative therapy to inhaled corticosteroids. If theophylline is prescribed as adjunctive therapy, providers should document patient exclusions for alternative treatment and monitor its serum concentration. Additionally, while this measure is straight forward to calculate at the health plan level for patients with pharmacy benefits, it will be more difficult to calculate at the physician group level without medical record review.