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Health Care Visits

Narrative

In 2009, 10.1 percent of children under 18 years of age had not seen a physician or other health care professional in the past year for either sick or routine care (not including overnight hospitalization, emergency department visits, home health care, or dental care). Older children were more likely than younger children to go 12 months without seeing a health care provider. Nearly 15 percent of children aged 15–17 years had not seen a health care provider in the past year, compared to less than 5.0 percent of children under 5 years of age.

Health care visits also varied by race/ethnicity. In 2009, 13.6 percent of Hispanic children had not seen a physician or other health professional in the past year, compared to 8.5 percent of non-Hispanic White children and 10.3 percent of non-Hispanic Black children. Across all age groups, Hispanic children were the least likely to have seen a health care provider, and non-Hispanic White children were the most likely to have seen one; however, not all observed differences were statistically significant. Differences were most pronounced among older children: Among children aged 15-17, 11.6 percent of non-Hispanic White children had not seen a health professional in the past year compared to 21.5 percent of Hispanic children.

The proportion of children going without health care also varied by poverty level. In 2009, 13.2 percent of children living in households with incomes below 100 percent of the U.S. Census Bureau’s poverty threshold ($21,954 for a family of four in 2009) had not seen a physician or other health professional in the past year, compared to 5.4 percent of children living in households with incomes of 400 percent or more of the poverty threshold.

Graphs

This image is described in the Data section.

child reported not to have seen a physician graph

Data

Child Reported to Have Not Seen a Physician or Other Health Care Professional* in the Past 12 Months, by Age and Race/Ethnicity, 2009
Race/Ethnicity Percent of Children
Total 0-4 Years 5-9 Years 10-14 Years 15-17 Years
*Does not include overnight hospitalizations, emergency department visits, home health care, and dental care.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. 2009 National Health Interview Survey. Unpublished data. Analyzed by the MCH Information Resource Center.
Total 10.1 4.7 9.7 13.3 14.4
Non-Hispanic White 8.5 3.6 8.1 11.7 11.6
Non-Hispanic Black 10.3 5.2 10.7 11.7 15.8
Hispanic 13.6 7.5 12.8 18.4 21.5

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