Study says initiatives should target both coverage and access to health care
FRIDAY, Jan. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Children who do not have health insurance and no regular source of health care are the most likely to have unmet medical needs, researchers at the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital report.
The findings show that the government needs to do more to safeguard the health of vulnerable children, said the researchers, who noted the number of children with unmet medical needs increased from 4.5 million in 1998 to 6.2 million in 2006.
The analysis of U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data showed that:
The findings, published in the February issue of Pediatrics, show that government programs such as Medicaid, the State Child Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), and the President's Health Center Initiative don't fully address the health-care needs of the most vulnerable children, said lead author Dr. Leesha K. Hoilette, a pediatric health services research fellow in the Child Health Evaluation and Research Unit in the U-M Division of General Pediatrics.
"As the nation continues to focus on the future of health care, and, in particular, health care for children, it seems insufficient to focus policy efforts on either health-care coverage or access alone. Initiatives must be targeted in tandem to increase both coverage and access to reduce unmet medical need," Hoilette said in a U-M news release.
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation has more about health coverage for children.
-- Robert Preidt
SOURCE: University of Michigan Health System, news release, Jan. 26, 2009
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