Not receiving the health care required
A study published last week in the New England Journal of Medicine found children – even those who are well-insured and from middle class families – are often not receiving the health care they require. The research was based on reviews of the medical records of more than 1,500 children from 12 metropolitan areas in the United States and was conducted by the Rand Group, the University of Washington, and Seattle Children’s Hospital.
Some of the discrepancies found in the children’s medical records included a failure to measure their height and weight at yearly checkups among over 40% of 3 to 6 year olds while only 15% of adolescents had their height and weight recorded. Over half of the children suffering from asthma did receive recommended treatment and 38% did not receive appropriate treatment for diarrhea. The study also found a failure of doctors to check for anemia in children less than two years of age even though such tests are recommended and a failure to provide recommended care for diabetes and other serious medical problems. Pediatricians, according to the study, only spend about 10 minutes with their patients.
These noted failures occurred even among children who were insured. More than 82% of the children were covered by private health insurance. Experts believe the statistics are even worse for children who have no health insurance.