• COVID-19
  • Allergies and Infant Formula
  • Pharmacology
  • Telemedicine
  • Drug Pipeline News
  • Influenza
  • Allergy, Immunology, and ENT
  • Autism
  • Cardiology
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Endocrinology
  • Adolescent Medicine
  • Gastroenterology
  • Infectious disease
  • Nutrition
  • Neurology
  • Obstetrics-Gynecology & Women's Health
  • Developmental/Behavioral Disorders
  • Practice Improvement
  • Gynecology
  • Respiratory
  • Dermatology
  • Diabetes
  • Mental Health
  • Oncology
  • Psychiatry
  • Animal Allergies
  • Alcohol Abuse
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Sexual Health
  • Pain

Insurance status affects children's ED care


Treatment of children in the emergency department (ED) varies according to medical insurance status, new findings indicate. Could the amount of ED use for children with or without private insurance explain the differences? More >>

Treatment of children in the emergency department (ED) varies according to medical insurance status, new findings indicate.

Using data for hospital ED and outpatient department visits from the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, researchers examined the relationship between insurance status and use of diagnostic tests or medical treatment during ED visits for children from 1999 to 2008. Children younger than 19 years were categorized as having private insurance, public insurance (ie, Medicaid or state health insurance), or no insurance.

Of nearly 85,000 ED visits over the 10-year period, 45% of children had private insurance, 43% had public insurance, and 12% had no insurance. Children with public or no insurance were almost 25% less likely to receive testing, medication, or undergo any procedure in the ED than children with private insurance.

It was not clear whether these differences reflect appropriate diagnostic workup, underuse of services in children without private insurance, or overuse in those with private insurance. Also, the effect of testing and intervention on outcomes could not be determined.

The researchers note that almost half of US children do not have private medical insurance and that ED use among the medically underserved is increasing, so the findings could have important implications. If further study indicates that children with public or no insurance have worse outcomes, greater scrutiny of hospital care for medically underserved patients would be warranted.

Go back to the current issue of the eConsult.

Related Videos
Scott Ceresnak, MD
Importance of maternal influenza vaccination recommendations
Reducing HIV reservoirs in neonates with very early antiretroviral therapy | Deborah Persaud, MD
Samantha Olson, MPH
Deborah Persaud, MD
Ari Brown, MD, FAAP | Pediatrician and CEO of 411 Pediatrics; author, baby411 book series; chief medical advisor, Kabrita USA.
Steven Selbst, MD
© 2024 MJH Life Sciences

All rights reserved.