Children with public insurance are slightly more likely to receive medical services that they don't need than those with private insurance, a new study finds.
One in nine publicly insured and one in 11 privately insured children received low-value care in 2014, according to the findings published in journal Pediatrics .
Researchers evaluated data for 8.6 million children in 12 states to see whether having public or private insurance is associated with receiving low-value medical services.
In a prior study, we showed that privately insured children frequently received low-value services that do not improve their health, but we didn't know if publicly insured children were more or less likely to receive wasteful care." Kao-Ping Chua, M.D., Ph.D., lead author and pediatrician Chua is a researcher at Michigan Medicine's C.S. Mott Children's Hospital and the Susan B. Meister Child Health Evaluation and Research Center.
"While we found that publicly insured children were a little more likely to receive low-value services, the difference was not large. The more important finding is that children are highly likely to receive wasteful care regardless of what type of insurance they have. This means that efforts to reduce waste should be global in nature and target the care of all children."
Researchers estimated the prevalence of 20 low-value diagnostic tests, imaging tests, and prescription drugs, such as unnecessary vitamin D screening, imaging for acute sinus infections, and antibiotic prescriptions for colds.
Among publicly and privately insured children in the sample, respectively, 11% and 9% received unnecessary services at least once in 2014 while about 4% and 3% received low-value services at least twice.
About 1 in 33 publicly and privately insured kids received a low-value diagnostic test at least once in 2014. About 1 in 12 publicly insured and 1 in 20 privately insured children received a low-value prescription drug at least once. Related Stories
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