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Health care, home, school differ for children with special health care needs
Date:12/6/2011

PORTLAND, Ore. The first federally funded report to compare children with special health care needs to children without reveals 14 percent to 19 percent of children in the United States have a special health care need and their insurance is inadequate to cover the greater scope of care they require for optimal health.

The report, Children with Special Health Care Needs in Context: A Portrait of States and the Nation 2007, provides an enhanced view of children by illustrating their health, health care, home and family environments, and school and neighborhood environments compared with their peers without special health care needs. It is based on findings from the 2007 National Survey of Children's Health (NSCH) sponsored by the Health Resources and Services Administration's Maternal and Child Health Bureau.

In the survey, children with special health care needs are defined as those who have one or more chronic physical, developmental, behavioral, or emotional conditions for which they require a type or amount of health and related services that is above routine-level care.

The key findings in the report demonstrate critical differences between these groups. While more than 88 percent of children ages 0 to 17 with special health care needs have consistent health insurance coverage, it is less likely to meet their greater health care needs compared with children without special health care needs. The percentage of children with special health care needs who have inadequate health insurance ranges from 20 percent to 38 percent across states.

"The NSCH is a valuable information source that can be used to inform efforts to advance the health of our nation's children. It allows us to measure children's health, well-being and health care system performance in the context of their family, home, community and school environments and to compare across many subgroups of children within and across states," said Christina Bethell, Ph.D.
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Contact: Tamara Hargens-Bradley
hargenst@ohsu.edu
503-494-8231
Oregon Health & Science University
Source:Eurekalert

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