ABSTRACT: To examine the impact of managed care on children's access, satisfaction, use, and quality of care using nationally representative household survey data.
The 1996 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS).
Bivariate and multivariate analyses are used to detect independent effects of managed care on access, satisfaction, utilization, and quality of pediatric health services.
Data were obtained from rounds 1, 2, and 3 of the 1996 MEPS. MEPS collects data on health care use, insurance, access, and satisfaction, along with basic demographic and health status information for a representative sample of the U. S. civilian, noninstitutionalized population. Our sample consists of 5,995 children between the ages of 0 and 17.
Among the 18 outcome indicators examined, the bivariate analysis revealed only three statistically significant differences between children enrolled in managed care and children in traditional health plans: children enrolled in managed care were more likely to receive physician services, more likely to have access to office-based care during evening or weekend hours, and less likely to report being very satisfied with overall quality of care. However, after controlling for confounding factors, none of these differences remained statistically significant.
Our findings suggest that there are no statistically significant differences in self-reported outcomes for children enrolled in managed care and traditional health plans. This conclusion is provisional, however, because of limitations in the data set.
Health Services Research 07/2001; 36(2):315-34. · 2.16 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: To assess the role health insurance plays in influencing access to care and use of services by children with special health care needs.
We analyzed data on 57 553 children younger than 18 years old included in the 1994-1995 National Health Interview Survey on Disability. The survey obtained information on special health care needs, insurance status, and access to and use of health services. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were used to assess the association of insurance with several measures of access and utilization, including usual source of care, site of usual care, missed or delayed care, and use of ambulatory physician services.
Using the federal Maternal and Child Health Bureau definition of children with special health care needs, we estimate that 18% of US children under 18 years old had an existing special health care need in 1994-1995. An estimated 89% of these children had some form of health insurance coverage, most often private health insurance. Insured children were more likely than uninsured children to have a usual source of care (96.9% vs 79.2%). Among those with a usual source of care, insured children were more likely than uninsured children to have an identified regular clinician (87. 6% vs 80.7%). Insured children were less likely to report unmet health needs, including medical care (2.2% vs 10.5%), dental care (6. 1% vs 23.9%), prescriptions, and/or eyeglasses (3.1% vs 12.3%), and mental health care (.9% vs 3.4%). Insured children were also more likely to have a physician contact in the past year (89.3% vs 73.6%) and have more physician contacts on an annual basis (8.5 vs 4.1 contacts). Unexpectedly, no differences were found between insured and uninsured children in availability of after hours medical care (evenings and weekends) or satisfaction with care. We also found some modest differences in access between publicly and privately insured children. Privately insured children were more likely to have a usual source of care (97.6% vs 95.3%) and a regular clinician (91.0% vs 81.1%). Privately insured children were also less likely to report dissatisfaction with care at their usual site of care (14. 9% vs 21.0%) and have access to care on evenings and weekends (6.8% vs 13.4%). No substantial differences were found between privately and publicly insured children in prevalence of unmet health needs or delays in obtaining care due to cost.
This study illustrates the importance of health insurance for children with special health care needs. Continued efforts are needed to ensure that all children with special health care needs have insurance and that remaining access and utilization barriers for currently insured children with special health care needs are also addressed.
Pediatrics 05/2000; 105(4 Pt 1):760-6. · 5.44 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Unmet need for health care is a critical indicator of access problems. Among children, unmet need for care has special significance inasmuch as the failure to obtain treatment can affect health status and functioning in the near- and long-term. The purpose of this study was to present current prevalence estimates and descriptive characteristics of children with unmet health needs using nationally representative household survey data.
We analyzed 4 years of National Health Interview Survey data spanning 1993 through 1996. Our analysis included 97 206 children <18 years old. Measures of unmet need for medical care, dental care, prescription medications, and vision care were obtained from an adult household member (usually the mother) responding for the child. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were used to assess the degree to which unmet need was related to the demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of the child and family.
Overall, 7.3% (4.7 million) of US children experienced at least 1 unmet health care need. Dental care was the most prevalent unmet need. After adjustment for confounding factors, near-poor and poor children were both about 3 times more likely to have an unmet need as nonpoor children (adjusted odds ratio [95% confidence interval] = 2.89 [2.52, 3.32], 3.0 [2.53, 3.56], respectively). Uninsured children were also about 3 times more likely to have an unmet need as privately insured children (adjusted odds ratio [95% confidence interval] = 2. 92 [2.58, 3.32]).
Despite the nation's great wealth, unmet health needs remain prevalent among US children. A combined public policy that addresses financial and nonfinancial barriers to care is required to reduce the prevalence of unmet need for health care.
Pediatrics 04/2000; 105(4 Pt 2):989-97. · 5.44 Impact Factor