Project Title

The Population-Based Effectiveness in Asthma and Lung Disease (PEAL) Network

Shortened Title


Publication Date


Author Information

Stephen Soumerai, ScD.

Professor, Department of Population Medicine

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care


This project will create a new infrastructure to accelerate comparative effectiveness research (CER) in asthma and other lung diseases in diverse populations. The Population-Based Effectiveness in Asthma and Lung Diseases (PEAL) Network will create a highly detailed, standardized, linked computerized dataset from a state Medicaid plan and four health plans. CER will be conducted on asthma controller medications, evaluating adherence and other real-world factors. This project is innovative in that it will link claims, electronic medical records, patient and provider data, and will build new linkages with a Medicaid plan to include vulnerable groups who are disproportionately burdened by asthma. For more information, visit

Infrastructure Aims

Build an innovative infrastructure for research on asthma and lung diseases by creating and linking standardized datas­ets from a state Medicaid population and four health plan populations.

Primary Research Aims

• Compare real-world adherence to and effectiveness of the major asthma con­troller regimens in diverse populations; and

• Conduct an applied methodological study that compares different design and analysis approaches for obser­vational comparative effectiveness research.

Healthcare Settings

Primary care or ambulatory clinics, Inpatient facilities

Geographic scope type


Locations of Focus

multiple regions across the US. Areas covered by the network include the states of Georgia, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Tennessee; the cities of St. Paul, Hudson, and New Richmond in Minnesota; and the region of northern California (Napa to Fresno)

Population Network Size

3 million patients

Informatics Platform/Tools


Grant Type


Major Partners

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care (lead site); HealthPartners Research Foundation; Kaiser Permanente Northern California; Kaiser Permanente Southeast; Kaiser Permanente Northwest; Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic; Vanderbilt University; Channing Laboratory

CER/PCOR Study Priority Populations

Children, Individuals who need chronic care

Outcome(s) of Interest

Adherence; prevention of adverse events; costs and cost-sharing; modifiable risk fac­tors (based on PRO and provider surveys); asthma exacerbations and health care use

Acknowledgement of Funders

PEAL is funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) through the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009, Grant 1R01HS019669.