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State Comptroller Reports Medicaid Costs Related to Asthma on the Rise

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The cost of treating asthma-related illness is on the rise.

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli released a report showing Medicaid costs related to asthma have reached $1.3 billion statewide.

That's a 26 percent increase over the past five years.

While asthma-related death rates and hospitalization rates have dropped over the past decade, the cost of treatment continues to go up because the number of New Yorkers diagnosed with asthma is rising.

"There is much more work to be done. We should take heart from where there's been progress but recognize that the task is not complete," said DiNapoli.

"Looking more closely at Comptroller DiNapoli's study, another alarming trend is the disproportionately high prevalence of asthma in certain New York City neighborhoods, specifically Latino and African American neighborhoods," said Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.

Lawmakers are pointing to the concentration of high pollution facilities like bus depots and waste management facilities in poor neighborhoods as a cause for higher asthma rates.

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