Less than half for our children

The New England Journal of Medicine current issue includes a study on the quality of care for children in the United States.
On average, according to data in the medical records, children in the study received 46.5%...of the indicated care. They received 67.6%...of the indicated care for acute medical problems, 53.4%...of the indicated care for chronic medical conditions, and 40.7%...of the indicated preventive care.
According to this study, previous results were limited to select groups (e.g., Medicaid recipients), involved self-reporting by caregivers and guardians, or were collected from data on the overall adult population.
In an attempt to address the limitations of previously published studies of the quality of care provided to children, we developed a comprehensive method for evaluating quality on the basis of information in medical records.
Deficits in the quality of healthcare for children "are similar in magnitude to those previously reported for adults." The results were surprising because the participants were more likely to be white and to have private insurance.

The researchers have found no national commitment to improve children health care.
Expansion of access to care through insurance coverage, which is the focus of national health care policy related to children, will not, by itself, eliminate the deficits in the quality of care.
The Quality of Ambulatory Care Delivered to Children in the United States
(The New England Journal of Medicine, October 11, 2007, pdf, 9pp/136KB)

Abstract available (HTML)

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