Child Health USA 2003

 Child Health USA 2003

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Home | Table of Contents | Preface | Introduction | Population Characteristics |
Health Status-Infants
| Health Status-Children | Health Status-Adolescents |
Health Services Financing and Utilization | State Data | City Data | References | Contributors

Health Services Financing and Utilization

In this Section:
Health Care Financing | Health Care Financing for CSHCN | Vaccination Coverage Levels | Recommended Childhood Immunization Schedule | Dental Care | Physician Visits | Place of Physician Contact | Place of Physician Contact for CSHCN | Hospital Utilization | Prenatal Care

Health Services Financing and Utilization

The availability of, and access to, quality health care directly affects the health of mothers and children, especially those at high risk due to chronic medical conditions or low socio-economic status.

Every State has implemented a Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), expanding coverage to many uninsured children. Outreach and consumer education are key components of the expansion in health insurance for children. Despite the progress achieved through public programs such as Medicaid and CHIP, approximately 8.5 million children remain uninsured in the United States.

The following section presents data on the utilization of health services within the maternal and child population. The most recent data are summarized by source of payment, type of care, and place of service delivery. Data are presented by age, race/ethnicity, and income.

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Health Care Financing

Health Insurance Coverage Among Children Under 18: 2001*
Source (III.1): U.S. Census Bureau

Health Insurance Coverage Among Children Under 18: 2001[d]
* Children may have more than one source of coverage.

Nearly 12 percent (8.5 million) of children younger than 18 years of age had no insurance coverage in 2001, an increase from the previous year. Although the late 1990’s saw a reduction in the percentage of uninsured children, current economic conditions, coupled with the rising cost of health benefits, have contributed to the recent increase in the population of uninsured children.

In 2001, just over one quarter of all children (26.8 percent) were publicly insured, primarily through Medicaid, and two-thirds were covered by private insurance. By comparison, children living in families with incomes below the Federal poverty level were more likely to have public insurance (62.1 percent) or be uninsured (22 percent). Only 22 percent of low-income children had private coverage.

In 2001, most uninsured children (65.6 percent) lived in families whose head was employed year-round, on a full-time basis. Even when parents are employed, coverage may not be offered or may be prohibitively expensive. Most privately insured children (60.8 percent) received insurance through a parent’s employer.

Created in response to the growing number of uninsured children in low-income working families, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) has enrolled 5.3 million children through the end of Federal Fiscal Year 2002. As of 2002, children with family incomes up to 200 percent of the Federal poverty level were eligible for coverage through CHIP in twenty states. Nine states implemented eligibility levels exceeding 235 percent of the Federal poverty level.

Health Insurance Coverage Among Children Under 18 Living in Families Below 100% of Poverty Level: 2001*
Source (III.2): Employee Benefit Research Institute

Health Insurance Coverage Among Children Under 18 Living in Families Below 100% of Poverty Level: 2001[d]
* Children may have more than one source of coverage.

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Health Care Financing: Children with Special Health Care Needs

Health Insurance Coverage for Children with Special Health Care Needs: 2001
Source (III.3): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Health Insurance Coverage for Children with Special Health Care Needs: 2001[d]



 

The 2001 National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN) collected information about insurance coverage for CSHCN. Nearly two-thirds of CSHCN (64.7 percent) were reported to have private or employment-based health coverage, 21.7 percent had public coverage, 8.1 percent had both, and 5.2 percent reported having no coverage at the time of the interview.

The type of coverage varied across income groups. Among families in poverty, more than two-thirds of CSHCN were covered through public programs such as Medicaid and CHIP. In contrast, for CSHCN in families with incomes above 200 percent of the poverty level, more than 80 percent had private coverage.


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Vaccination Coverage Levels

The Year 2010 objective for the complete series of routinely recommended childhood vaccinations is immunization of at least 90 percent of 19- to 35-month-olds with the full series of vaccines. Data released from CDC’s 2002 National Immunization Survey revealed that 74.8 percent of children ages 19-35 months received the recommended vaccines (4 DTaP, 3 polio, 1 MMR, 3 Hib, 3 hepatitis B) in 2002. In the past 5 years, the greatest increases in vaccination rates have occurred with the hepatitis B vaccine and the varicella (chicken pox) vaccine, which was added to the schedule in 1996. Since 1997, the vaccination rate for hepatitis B has increased by 6.3 percent to 89.9 percent in 2002. The varicella vaccination rate rose to 80.6 percent, which represents a 3-fold increase since 1997. Despite this progress, approximately 900,000 children under two years of age have not received the recommended immunization series to be fully protected.1 Black children are particularly vulnerable. With the exception of the varicella vaccine, Black children aged 19-35 months have the lowest immunization rates and are consistently below the national average.

Estimated Vaccination Coverage Among Children Ages 19-35 Months, by Race/Ethnicity: 2002
Source (III.4): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Estimated Vaccination Coverage Among Children Ages 19-35 Months, by Race/Ethnicity: 2002[d]

* Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis.
** Measles, mumps, rubella.
*** Haemophilus influenza type b.

In January 2003, the CDC published an updated immunization schedule (see next section). No major changes have been made since publication of the schedule in 2002. The 2003 schedule continues to encourage the routine use of hepatitis B vaccine for all infants before hospital discharge and also begins to focus on the expansion of routine influenza immunization to include all children between 6-to 23-months of age.

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Recommended Childhood Immunization Schedule

Recommended Childhood Immunization Schedule United States
Source (III.5): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Table: Recommended Childhood Immunization Schedule United States

This schedule indicates the recommended ages for routine administration of currently licensed childhood vaccines, as of December 1, 2002, for children through age 18 years. Any dose not given at the recommended age should be given at any subsequent visit when indicated and feasible. Indicates age groups that warrant special effort to administer those vaccines not previously given. Additional vaccines may be licensed and recommended during the year. Licensed combination vaccines may be used whenever any components of the combination are indicated and the vaccine’s other components are not contraindicated. Providers should consult the manufacturers’ package inserts for detailed recommendations.

  1. Hepatitis B Vaccine (HepB). All infants should receive the first dose of hepatitis B vaccine soon after birth and before hospital discharge; the first dose may also be given by age 2 months if the infant’s mother is HbsAg-negative. Only monovalent HepB can be used for the birth dose. Monovalent or combination vaccine containing HepB may be used to complete the series. Four doses of vaccine may be administered when a birth dose is given. The second dose should be given at least 4 weeks after the first dose, except for combination vaccines which cannot be administered before age 6 weeks. The third dose should be given at least 16 weeks after the first dose and at least 8 weeks after the second dose. The last dose in the vaccination series (third or fourth dose) should not be administered before age 6 months.
    Infants born to HbsAg-positive mothers should receive HepB and 0.5 mL Hepatitis B Immune Globulin (HBIG) within 12 hours of birth at separate sites. The second dose is recommended at age 1-2 months. The last dose in the vaccination series should not be administered before age 6 months. These infants should be tested for HbsAg and anti-HBs at 9-15 months of age.
    Infants born to mothers whose HbsAg status is unknown should receive the first dose of the HepB series within 12 hours of birth. Maternal blood should be drawn as soon as possible to determine the mother’s HbsAg status; if the HbsAg test is positive, the infant should receive HBIG as soon as possible (no later than age 1 week). The second dose is recommended at age 1-2 months. The last dose in the vaccination series should not be administered before age 6 months.
  2. Diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis vaccine (DTaP). The fourth dose of DTaP may be administered as early as age 12 months, provided 6 months have elapsed since the third dose and the child is unlikely to return at age 15-18 months. Tetanus and diphtheria toxoids (Td) is recommended at age 11-12 years if at least 5 years have elapsed since the last dose of tetanus and diphtheria toxoid-containing vaccine. Subsequent routine Td boosters are recommended every 10 years.
  3. Haemophilus Influenzae type b (Hib) conjugate vaccine. Three Hib conjugate vaccines are licensed for infant use. If PRP-OMP (PedvaxHIB ® or ComVax ® [Merck]) is administered at ages 2 and 4 months, a dose at age 6 months is not required. DTaP/Hib combination products should not be used for primary immunization in infants at ages 2, 4 or 6 months, but can be used as boosters following any Hib vaccine.
  4. Measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine (MMR). The second dose of MMR is recommended routinely at age 4-6 years but may be administered during any visit, provided at least 4 weeks have elapsed since the first dose and that both doses are administered beginning at or after age 12 months. Those who have not previously received the second dose should complete the schedule by the 11-12 year old visit.
  5. Varicella vaccine. Varicella vaccine is recommended at any visit at or after age 12 months for susceptible children, i.e. those who lack a reliable history of chickenpox. Susceptible persons aged 13 years or more should receive two doses, given at least 4 weeks apart.
  6. Pneumococcal vaccine. The heptavalent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) is recommended for all children age 2-23 months. It is also recommended for certain children age 24-59 months. Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV) is recommended in addition to PCV for certain high-risk groups. See MMWR. 2000;49(RR-9):1-38.
  7. Hepatitis A vaccine. Hepatitis A vaccine is recommended for children and adolescents in selected states and regions, and for certain high-risk groups; consult your local public health authority. Children and adolescents in these states, regions, and high risk groups who have not been immunized against hepatitis A can begin in the hepatitis A vaccination series during any visit. The two doses in the series should be administered at least 6 months apart. See MMWR. 1999;48(RR-12):1-37.
  8. Influenza vaccine. Influenza vaccine is recommended annually for children age 6 months or more with certain risk factors (including but not limited to asthma, cardiac disease, sickle cell disease, HIV, diabetes, and household members of persons in groups at high risk; see MMWR 2002;51(RR-3):1-31), and can be administered to all others wishing to obtain immunity. In addition, healthy children age 6-23 months are encouraged to receive influenza vaccine if feasible because children in this age group are at substantially increased risk for influenza-related hospitalizations. Children aged 12 years or less should receive vaccine in a dosage appropriate for their age (0.25 mL if age 6-35 months or 0.5 mL if aged 3 years or more). Children aged 8 years or less who are receiving influenza vaccine for the first time should receive two doses separated by at least 4 weeks.

For additional information about vaccines, including precautions and contraindications for immunization and vaccine shortages, please visit the National Immunization Program Website at www.cdc.gov/nip or call the National Immunization Hotline at (800) 232-2522 (English) or (800) 232-0233 (Spanish).

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Dental Care

Children Receiving an EPSDT Preventive Dental Service: 1990-2000
Source (III.6): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Children Receiving an EPSDT Preventive Dental Service: 1990-2000[d]
* Includes data from 26 states.
 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), dental decay is the second most common chronic disease among U.S. children. This is a preventable health problem which can significantly affect children’s health, ability to concentrate in school, and quality of life. With half of children already experiencing tooth decay by the age of 8, beginning dental checkups early in life is essential. Some professional associations recommend that a child have his or her first dental visit by age 1.

Problems related to oral health are more common among particular populations, including Black and Hispanic children, as well as low-income children. Analysis of the 2001 National Health Interview Survey found that 79.3 percent of children living at or above 200 percent of the Federal poverty level had seen a dentist in the past year, compared to only 62 percent of low-income children (below 200 percent of the Federal poverty level). Among low-income children, 38.1 percent had not received dental care in the last year, compared to 20.7 percent of higher-income children.

Preventive services such as regular dental health screenings may not always be available to those children who need them most. In Federal Fiscal Year 2000, only 20 percent of children eligible for dental services under the Medicaid Early and Preventive Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT) program received preventive dental services.

Children Receiving Dental Care in the Past 12 Months, by Income: 2001
Source (III.7): National Center for Health Statistics

Children Receiving Dental Care in the Past 12 Months, by Income: 2001[d]
* Federal poverty level.

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Physician Visits

Based on data from the 2001 National Health Interview Survey, approximately 10.5 percent of children under age 18 had not seen a physician in the past year. Older children were more likely than younger children to go without a physician visit. Nearly 16 percent of children ages 15-17 years had not had a physician visit in the past year, compared to only 3.8 percent of children under age 5.

Across all age groups, Hispanic children were the least likely to have seen a physician in the past year, compared to White and Black children. Hispanic children were up to three times more likely than White children to have had no physician visits.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children have eight health care visits in their first year, three in their second year, and one a year, generally, from middle childhood throughout adolescence.

Children Reporting No Physician Visits in the Past 12 Months, by Age and Race/Ethnicity: 2001
Source (III.7): National Center for Health Statistics

Children Reporting No Physician Visits in the Past 12 Months, by Age and Race/Ethnicity: 2001[d

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Place of Physician Contact

Most children with a usual source of care, regardless of age or racial and ethnic group, received their health care at either a physician’s office or an HMO in 2001. On average, 36.4 percent of low-income children used a clinic or health center as their usual source of acute care, compared to only 16.8 percent of higher-income children. Children with family incomes above poverty were approximately five times more likely to seek care through a physician’s office or HMO rather than a clinic or health center. Very few families reported that the hospital emergency department was the usual source of their children’s care.

Usual Source of Acute Care: 2001*
Source (III.7): National Center for Health Statistics

Usual Source of Acute Care: 2001[d
* Excludes less than 1 percent of those who indicated other source of acute care.

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Place of Physician Contact for Children with Special Health Care Needs

Access to health care is particularly important for children with special health care needs (CSHCN). One measure of access, and an important element of primary care, is whether children have an identified place to go when they are sick. Analysis of the 2001 National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs found that 92 percent of CSHCN had a usual source of acute care. For the majority of these children (73 percent), this was a physician’s office, although this varied based on income. Over 80 percent (82.5 percent) of CSHCN with family incomes above poverty identified a physician’s office as their usual source of acute care, compared to 62.0 percent of CSHCN with family incomes at or below the poverty level. Overall, health centers and hospitals were most commonly cited as a primary source of acute care by CSHCN with family incomes at or below the poverty level.

Usual Source of Acute Care for Children with Special Health Care Needs: 2001*
Source (III.8): National Center for Health Statistics

Usual Source of Acute Care for Children with Special Health Care Needs: 2001*[d
* Excludes less than 1 percent of those who indicated other source of acute care.

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Hospital Utilization

In 2001, Black and Hispanic children in low-income families (those with an annual income of less than $20,000) averaged more nights in the hospital (including deliveries) than children in higher-income families. Among children who were admitted to a hospital, low-income Black and Hispanic children averaged 6.1 days and 4.1 days respectively, compared to 5.8 days and 2.9 days among higher-income Black and Hispanic children. This difference was not observed for White children, as both income groups averaged 4.5 days of hospitalization a year. Across both income groups, Hispanic children averaged the least days of hospitalization and Black children averaged the most.

Hospital Utilization, by Income and Race/Etnicity: 2001
Source (III.7): National Center for Health Statistics

Hospital Utilization, by Income and Race/Etnicity: 2001[d

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Prenatal Care

Early Prenatal Care

Mothers Beginning Prenatal Care in the First Trimester, by Age and Race: 2001
Source (III.9): National Center for Health Statistics

Mothers Beginning Prenatal Care in the First Trimester, by Age and Race: 2001[d

Receiving early and continuous prenatal care throughout pregnancy has been linked to improved pregnancy and health outcomes for mother and child. The proportion of mothers beginning prenatal care in the first trimester was 83.4 percent in 2001, a slight increase from 2000.

In the last decade, there have been substantial increases in the percentage of women receiving early prenatal care, especially among racial and ethnic minorities. The proportion of Black, Hispanic, and American Indian women receiving early prenatal care increased by 20 percent or more between 1990 and 2000. Although gains have occurred across all racial groups, racial disparities persist. On average, 85.2 percent of White women, compared to 74.5 percent of Black women and 75.7 percent of Hispanic women, began prenatal care in the first trimester in 2001.

The age of the mother was also related to prenatal care initiation. Women younger than 20 years of age were much less likely than older women to begin prenatal care in the first trimester.

Late or No Prenatal Care

Mothers Receiving Late or No Prenatal Care, by Age and Race: 2001
Source (III.9): National Center for Health Statistics

Mothers Receiving Late or No Prenatal Care, by Age and Race: 2001[d

The percentage of pregnant women beginning prenatal care in the third trimester or going without prenatal care decreased slightly from 3.9 percent in 2000 to 3.7 percent in 2001. Regardless of age, Black and Hispanic women were about twice as likely as White women to receive late or no prenatal care.

Risk factors for not using prenatal care included being younger than 20 years old, being unmarried, having low educational attainment, and being a member of a racial or ethnic minority group.

 

 

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Footnote

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1 American Academy of Pediatrics. (2003). Vaccination Fact Sheets from the Childhood Immunization Support Program (CISP). Elk Grove Village, Illinois: AAP.

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Home | Table of Contents | Preface | Introduction | Population Characteristics |
Health Status-Infants
| Health Status-Children | Health Status-Adolescents |
Health Services Financing and Utilization | State Data | City Data | References | Contributors