Uncoordinated Care Compromises Quality of Children’s Health, Study Finds
Insurers and health policymakers have "paid less attention to the quality of care for children" than they have for older patients, resulting in a fragmented "nonsystem" of care, particularly for the uninsured, according to a report released Thursday by New York-based health advocacy group the Commonwealth Fund, Scripps Howard/Detroit News reports. The report found lapses in patient safety, shortcomings in providing effective care, "persistent" racial and ethnic disparities in care and "widespread failure to provide needed preventive services to teens," Sheila Leatherman, a professor at the University of North Carolina School of Public Health and a co-author of the study, said. The report found that 25% of infants and toddlers are not up to date on their immunizations, as many as three-quarters of sexually active adolescent girls do not receive chlamydia screenings and one-third of children with asthma do not receive proper treatment. In addition, 20% of children who see a physician for a common cold are inappropriately prescribed antibiotics; more than 10% of pediatric hospital admissions are unnecessary; and nearly 80% of children with severe mental health problems are not formally evaluated or treated, according to the report. Douglas McCarthy, president of Colorado-based Issues Research and a co-author of the study, said, "[Children's] unique developmental needs, different disease patterns and dependency on adults means that quality of health care for children deserves special attention" (Bowman, Scripps Howard/Detroit News, 4/16).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.