Study: Children With Private Insurance More Likely To Receive Treatment In ERs

A study published in the most recent edition of the Journal of Pediatrics found that children who had public insurance, like Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or no insurance at all, did not receive the same level of treatment in emergency rooms as children with private insurance. The study found that those children were 22 percent less likely to have testing when they visited a hospital’s emergency department, while children without insurance were less likely to receive medication than their insured counterparts. However, there was no difference in admittance rates based on insurance status for children with serious illnesses. While the reasons for this discrepancy are unclear, one possibility is that ERs are overtreating children with private insurance, which pays hospitals more. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, nearly half of all children do not have private insurance.

-Zachary Bernstein

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