In a study that appears in the September issue of Medical Care, the researchers found that those enrolled in Healthy Kids were more likely to have a regular source of health care and reported better medical home experiences than the children on a wait list. Children who were enrolled in the program for more than a year reported the best medical home experiences among the three groups.
In a separate study that was published online by Health Services Research, the researchers found that children who reported better medical home experiences missed fewer days at school and performed better overall, in math and in reading. For example, for every one-point increase in the medical home total score, the odds of missing fewer than three school days due to illness or injury in the past school year increased by 12 percent. Among the measured indicators of medical home quality, access was most strongly associated with improved health and school engagement.
"It supports the argument to keep providing affordable health insurance for undocumented kids," said Stevens. "Since these children are going to be left out of health care reform, the studies show the unique value of these public-private programs like Healthy Kids that were created to give them coverage."
Public health officials agree.
"These families who have no other access to health insurance, they are so grateful to get their child into the health care system," says Kena Burke, former director of the Healthy Kids p
|Contact: Alison Trinidad|
University of Southern California