Asthma in the Workplace

Because asthma’s effect on the workplace is profound, it is heartening that increasingly, employers are taking necessary steps to address the 20.3 million Americans with the condition. If ever there was a condition that can be effectively managed through employee education and a well designed health benefit, it’s asthma. Pitney Bowes, to take just one example, offered workshops and overhauled its pharmacy program, reducing emergency room visits for asthma attacks by 6 percent and hospital admissions for asthma by 38 percent for its 35,000 employees.

This publication is divided into four parts: The first part describes the effect of untreated asthma on workplace productivity; the second tracks the evolution of therapy and shows how contemporary therapies have been shown to reduce illness and comorbidities; the third is a summary of asthma initiatives by major accrediting bodies (e.g., the National Committee for Quality Assurance); and the last (by no means the least) looks at employer strategies.