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Children who lack continuity with a regular health care provider miss needed services
Date:11/23/2009

l need; an unmet prescription need; missed medication doses; delayed urgent care; no outpatient visits; and reports of problems obtaining necessary dental care or specialty care, and counseling.

Parents were also asked where they took their child for needed medical care. Children whose parents responded that their child received care at a community health center, private clinic or school-based clinic were considered to have a usual source of care. Those who reported no current usual source of care, or whose children received regular care only an emergency department or at an urgent care facility, were considered to have no usual source of care.

Based on these responses, the researchers report that 79 percent of the children who lacked a usual source of health care had an unmet need compared with 45 percent who reported having a usual source of care.

The researchers then compared their findings with a comparable national sample and found 67.5 percent of low-income children nationwide who lacked a usual source of care had an unmet need compared with 37 percent who reported having a usual source of care.

"A child without a usual source of care had at least two times the odds of experiencing an unmet need than a child with a usual source of care both in the Oregon population and in the national sample," DeVoe explained.

In addition, the researchers were interested in knowing whether children whose insurance changes had prompted a change in their usual source of care were more vulnerable to experiencing unmet need. They found that an estimated 23 percent of low-income children in Oregon had changed their usual source of care because of insurance reasons. Compared to children with a stable usual source of care, the group that had changed their usual source of care had 2.6 times the odds of experiencing unmet medical care needs.

"Although this study confirms the importance of a stable usual source of care, our find
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Contact: Tamara Hargens-Bradley
hargenst@ohsu.edu
503-494-8231
Oregon Health & Science University
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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