Blog & News
SHADAC Researchers Co-Author Maternal and Child Health Journal Article on Medical Home Contributions to Child Health OutcomesDecember 9, 2022:
SHADAC researchers Natalie Mac Arthur and Lynn Blewett recently published a journal article in Maternal and Child Health Journal that examines the medical home model—a widely accepted model of team-based primary care—and its unique contributions to child health outcomes.
Their analysis drew on data from the 2016-2017 National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) to assess five key medical home components–usual source of care, personal doctor/nurse, family-centered care, referral access, and coordinated care–and their associations with child outcomes. Health outcomes included emergency department (ED) visits, unmet health care needs, preventive medical visits, preventive dental visits, health status, and oral health status.
- Results showed that children who were not white, living in non-English households, with less family income or education, or who were uninsured had lower rates of access to a medical home and its components.
- A medical home was associated with beneficial child outcomes for all six of the outcomes and the family-centered care component was associated with better results in five outcomes.
- ED visits were less likely for children who received care coordination.
These findings highlight the role of key components of the medical home model and the importance of access to family-centered health care that provides needed coordination for children of all backgrounds. Health care reforms should consider disparities in access to a medical home and specific components and the contributions of each component to provide quality primary care for all children. Understanding the role of medical home components contributes to the refinement of the model and can inform health care policy efforts to improve health equity for all children.
Blog & News
Neighborhood Support Matters for Child HealthNovember 22, 2022:
Where people live, work, and play has been shown to have important impacts on health. In addition to one’s physical environment (e.g., access to safe schools, parks, and sources of nutritious food), the extent to which people feel connected to a supportive community with a network of resources is an important factor for health. This concept is known as “social capital," and has been linked with a broad range of health outcomes including mortality.
Neighborhood support is a form of social capital that can be measured with available survey data. The National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) is nationally representative and includes children (age 0-17) in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The data from this survey provide information on family perceptions of neighborhood support and a broad range of child sociodemographic and health characteristics. NSCH data also allow researchers to study the association between supportive neighborhoods and key children’s health outcomes.
Only about half (55%) of children lived in a supportive neighborhood. As shown in the figure below, the likelihood of living in a supportive neighborhood also varied across population subgroups. Perceived neighborhood support was less likely for non-English households, children of color, children with special health care needs (CSHCN), families with less education or income, and children with public health insurance coverage or who were uninsured.
Percent of children living in supportive neighborhoods, by child characteristics
Source: SHADAC analysis of the National Survey of Children’s Health, 2018-2019
We found that neighborhood support matters for a child’s health. Family perceptions of neighborhood support were significantly associated with four of the five outcomes we examined, after adjusting for child characteristics. Children in supportive neighborhoods were less likely to have a past year emergency department visit or unmet care needs and were more likely to have a preventive dental visit and better parent-reported oral health status (Table below).
|Past year ED visit odds ratio||Unmet health needs odds ratio||Preventive dental visit odds ratio||Fair/poor health odds ratio||Fair/poor oral health odds ratio|
Notes: *** p<0.001, ** p<0.01, * p<0.05 Unmet health care needs included medical, dental, hearing, vision, or mental health needs. All models were adjusted for demographic characteristics (age, sex, race/ethnicity, household language, income, parental education), children with special healthcare needs (based on a five-item screener), health insurance coverage, and a composite measure of family resilience. Resilience was defined by how families face problems, with ‘all of the time’ or ‘most of the time’ responses to four items: talk together, work together, draw on strengths, stay hopeful.
Our study provides evidence that neighborhood cohesion is correlated with better child health outcomes. Policies that support healthy neighborhoods and build social capital are essential for the wellbeing of children. This includes policies that benefit child development, such as neighborhood schools, playgrounds, and early childhood education. Community-based programs and health care also play a role in fostering neighborhood support by strengthening networks and linking community members to needed care and resources.
NSCH dataset provided by the Data Resource Center:
Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative. 2018-2019 National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) Stata Constructed DataSet. Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health supported by Cooperative Agreement U59MC27866 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB). Retrieved from www.childhealthdata.org.
Room to Grow: Inequities in Children's Health Insurance Coverage
Health insurance is a linchpin in the United States’ health care system. It can insulate families from deep financial strain and medical debt, as costs for health care services have grown increasingly unaffordable in recent decades. For children, the doorway to health care offered by insurance is uniquely important—ensuring their opportunity to develop into healthy adults by providing access to regular health screenings, routine services, vaccinations, and vital treatments when health issues are identified.
Children’s health insurance coverage rates in the United States have improved since the 1990s, largely due to policy initiatives designed to provide kids with affordable health insurance options, such as the long-running Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) established twenty-five years ago.1 However, while overall uninsured rates remain low, disparities among select groups of children have persisted, with wide gaps in coverage found across the states and certain demographic categories.
In this issue brief and accompanying 50-state profiles, SHADAC researchers explore rates of uninsurance among children in the U.S. using 2016-2020 estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS). Aiming to quantify coverage disparities in the states, this analysis looks at rates of uninsurance by race and ethnicity, income as measured by poverty level, citizenship status, age, and metropolitan status. These products can be used to identify health equity gaps and develop policies and initiatives to ensure children have needed access to health insurance and health care.
Uninsured Children by State, 2016-2020
Click on a state in the graphic below to view its kid's coverage profile. Click here to download all 50-state profiles.
1 Gates, J.A., Karpman, M., Kenney, G.M., & McMorrow, S. (2016). Uninsurance among children, 1997–2015: Long-term trends and recent patterns. Urban Institute. https://www.urban.org/sites/default/files/publication/79316/2000732-Uninsurance-among-Children-Long-Term-Trends-and-Recent-Patterns.pdf