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Many Kids Not Getting Recommended Care: Survey
Date:10/4/2010

By Jenifer Goodwin
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Oct. 4 (HealthDay News) -- About 13 percent of parents with health insurance say they haven't gotten pediatrician-recommended care for their children due to costs, a new survey in Ohio finds.

Parents of kids covered by private health insurance were more likely than those with public health insurance such as Medicaid or the State Children's Health Insurance Program to report forgoing care such as seeing a recommended specialist, filling a prescription or getting a lab test because of difficulty paying for it.

In the survey, about 61 percent of parents had children covered by private insurance while about 39 percent had public insurance.

The survey findings were scheduled for presentation Oct. 3 at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference and Exhibition in San Francisco.

Researchers queried 1,978 parents at pediatricians' offices in the summer of 2009 in three counties in Ohio about their income, type of insurance and ability to access medical care for their children.

During the prior year, about 5.5 percent said they did not see a recommended specialist, 4.7 percent did not get a recommended lab test and 8.7 percent said they did not fill a prescription due to cost. About 7.8 percent of parents said their child's health had suffered as a result.

About 13 percent of parents answered "yes" to at least one question and were considered "underinsured"; that is, they had insurance but were still unable to get recommended care because of deductibles, co-pays and other costs, the researchers said.

The recession, high unemployment and increasing costs of health care seem to be making things worse, the study authors noted. Nearly 17 percent of parents said it was harder to obtain the health care their children needed than it was three years ago, including 12.8 percent of parents with public health insurance and 17.8 percent of those with pr
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