Lack of financial barriers to pediatric cochlear implantation: impact of socioeconomic status on access and outcomes.

Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Cleveland, Ohio 44106, USA.
Archives of otolaryngology--head & neck surgery (Impact Factor: 1.92). 07/2010; 136(7):648-57. DOI: 10.1001/archoto.2010.90
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT (1) To analyze if socioeconomic status influences access to cochlear implantation in an environment with adequate Medicaid reimbursement. (2) To determine the impact of socioeconomic status on outcomes after unilateral cochlear implantation.
Retrospective cohort study.
University Hospitals Case Medical Center and Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital (tertiary referral center), Cleveland, Ohio.
Pediatric patients (age range, newborn to 18 years) who received unilateral cochlear implantation during the period 1996 to 2008.
Access to cochlear implantation after referral to a cochlear implant center, postoperative complications, compliance with follow-up appointments, and access to sequential bilateral cochlear implantation.
A total of 133 pediatric patients were included in this study; 64 were Medicaid-insured patients and 69 were privately insured patients. There was no statistical difference in the odds of initial cochlear implantation, age at referral, or age at implantation between the 2 groups. The odds of prelingual Medicaid-insured patients receiving sequential bilateral cochlear implantation was less than half that of the privately insured group (odds ratio [OR], 0.43; P = .03). The odds of complications in Medicaid-insured children were almost 5-fold greater than the odds for privately insured children (OR, 4.6; P = .03). There were 10 complications in 51 Medicaid-insured patients (19.6%) as opposed to 3 in 61 privately insured patients (4.9%). Medicaid-insured patients missed substantially more follow-up appointments overall (35% vs 23%) and more consecutive visits (1.9 vs 1.1) compared with privately insured patients.
In an environment with adequate Medicaid reimbursement, eligible children have equal access to cochlear implantation, regardless of socioeconomic background. However, lower socioeconomic background is associated with higher rates of postoperative complications, worse follow-up compliance, and lower rates of sequential bilateral implantation, observed herein in Medicaid-insured patients. These findings present opportunities for cochlear implant centers to create programs to address such downstream disparities.

  • Source
    Journal of Evidence Based Dental Practice 03/2013; 13(1):31.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objectives Early intervention for children with hearing loss involves assistance in oral speech development, optimal use of hearing devices and fostering a holistic partnership between allied health and the children's families. Adequate access to early intervention has been shown to be vital in the positive development of long term language and social outcomes. However, there has been limited research to identify the factors which may influence access. This study aimed to explore whether access to early intervention by children with hearing loss is affected by: geographical location, socio-economic status and ethnic-minority family status. Methods A cross-sectional research design was used in this study incorporating a survey of early intervention coordinators and an audit of an organization database. All (N = 11) early intervention coordinators at an “Oral Language Centre for Deaf Children” in the state of Victoria, Australia were surveyed on whether child clients (N = 133) were accessing an appropriate level of early intervention corresponding to their level of hearing loss. The length of time for each child to enroll for early intervention following diagnosis was obtained from the database of the organization. Potential differences in access between geographical groups, between socio-economic status groups and between ethnic-minority and non-minority group were analyzed using inferential statistics. Results Closer geographical proximity to early intervention services was associated with more appropriate (P=.000) and more prompt (P=.005) access. No difference in access to early intervention was detected for different socio-economic status groups. Although, ethnic-minority family status was not shown to influence the level of access, it took a significantly longer time for ethnic-minority families to enroll for early intervention compared to non-minority families (P=.04). Conclusions Findings suggest that geographical proximity and ethnic-minority family status, instead of socio-economic status, are more likely to be potential barriers to early intervention access in children with hearing loss. From the health promotion perspective, attention should be directed towards these potential barriers.
    International journal of pediatric otorhinolaryngology 01/2014; · 0.85 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: ARTICLE TITLE AND BIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION: Effect of early preventive dental visits on subsequent dental treatment and expenditures. Beil H, Rozier RG, Preisser JS, Stearns SC, Lee JY. Med Care 2012 Sep;50(9):749-56. REVIEWER: Jonathan D. Shenkin, DDS, MPH PURPOSE/QUESTION: To determine dental treatment procedures at ages 43 to 72 months among children who received a dental preventive visit before 18 months of age versus those who received them up to 42 months of age SOURCE OF FUNDING: US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the National Institutes of Health TYPE OF STUDY/DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level 3 STRENGTH OF RECOMMENDATION GRADE: Not applicable.
    The journal of evidence-based dental practice 03/2013; 13(1):31-32.