New research findings that insured children in the United States get recommended medical care less than half of the time highlight the need for health reform to focus not only on increasing the number of insured, but also on improving the quality of care, reports The California Health Care Foundation. The study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Researchers assessed the extent to which care processes recommended for pediatric outpatients are delivered.
Results from the study showed that on average, children in the study received 46.5% of the indicated care. They received 67.6% of the indicated care for acute medical problems, 53.4% of the indicated care for chronic medical conditions, and 40.7% of the indicated preventive care. Quality varied according to the clinical area, with the rate of adherence to indicated care ranging from 92.0% for upper respiratory tract infections to 34.5% for preventive services for adolescents.
The study concluded that deficits in the quality of care provided to children appear to be similar in magnitude to those previously reported for adults. Strategies to reduce these apparent deficits are needed.
- The Quality of Ambulatory Care Delivered to Children in the United States, New England Journal of Medicine, Volume 357:1515-1523 October 11, 2007