Megan Lynch (@MLynchOnAir)

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – A program starting this spring could save Missouri’s Medicaid system tens of thousands of dollars.

“These high-risk children are being seen in the emergency room, some times up to four times a week,” explains Joy Krieger, RN, executive director of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, St. Louis Chapter.

These are kids with severe asthma, and estimates show that’s quadrupling the average cost of care.

Missouri will be the first state in the nation to implement home visits and follow-ups to improve the health of low-income children with chronic asthma.

Krieger tells KMOX many of these families don’t realize their children’s asthma could be better controlled with a few changes in the home, such as improving air quality or removing triggers from bedrooms.

“Mom and dad may not even be aware that Fluffy the dog who sleeps with Johnny may the culprit and is causing the problem,” she says.

Krieger says dust mites, mold and tobacco smoke are other common, controllable triggers.

The law allowing the visits was approved in 2014, but recently received half a million dollars in state funding and an expected 2 million in federal dollars.

(TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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