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States vary in children's health, gaps exist in insurance, quality care across sectors
Date:5/12/2011

PORTLAND, Ore. A comprehensive report based on the National Survey of Children's Health conducted by children's health researchers at Oregon Health & Science University and the Maternal and Child Health Bureau finds insurance duration, consistency and adequacy, and the corresponding access to health care, are lacking for many U.S. children and have a detrimental effect on their health and well-being.

The researchers cite a need for improvement in all states, with wide variations across states that can inform improvement efforts. The results especially support national goals focused on the consistency of insurance coverage and access to mental health and specialist care, preventive care, family-centered care and care coordination for children. Their study is published online in the journal Academic Pediatrics.

"Our findings show we are on the right track with priorities for improving health care set forth in health care reform legislation; yet, cross-cutting health and quality disparities exist for children and urge rapid, course-changing innovation and progress," said Christina Bethell, Ph.D., M.B.A., M.P.H., lead author, professor of pediatrics in the OHSU School of Medicine, OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital; and director of the Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative at OHSU.

The researchers found significant differences in the health and well-being of children, their access to health care, and consistency of insurance coverage depending on their state of residence. And although some states consistently perform at the top on these quality indicators, no state consistently performs well on all measures.

The data are derived from the 2007 National Survey of Children's Health, which represented approximately 1,700 children, ages birth to 17, from each state and the District of Columbia. Survey respondents were a parent or other adult in the household who knew the child and the child's health history.

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Contact: Tamara Hargens-Bradley
hargenst@ohsu.edu
503-494-8231
Oregon Health & Science University
Source:Eurekalert

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