Missing well-child visits ups risk for hospitalization

Children increasingly at risk of high blood pressure.
Children increasingly at risk of high blood pressure.

HealthDay News -- Poor adherence to well-child care visits for young children correlates with an elevated risk for ambulatory care-sensitive hospitalizations (ACSHs), according to research published in the May issue of the American Journal of Managed Care.

Jeffrey O. Tom, MD, of the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Honolulu, and colleagues conducted a retrospective observational study using claims and administrative data for children aged 2 months to 3.5 years, who were enrolled at Group Health Cooperative, an integrated health care delivery system, from 1999 to 2006.

The association between adherence to well-child care visits and risk for a child's first ambulatory care-sensitive hospitalization was examined.

A total of 797 (4%) of the 20,065 children enrolled at Group Health Cooperative had an ambulatory care-sensitive hospitalization. Children with lower adherence to well-child visits were at significantly increased risk for ambulatory care-sensitive hospitalization (hazard ratio [HR] 2.0 for 0 to 25% adherence; HR 1.4 for 26 to 50% adherence), the researchers found.

Among the 2,196 children with one or more chronic diseases, 9% had an ambulatory care-sensitive hospitalization. Children with one or more chronic diseases who had lower adherence to well-child visits were also at significantly increased risk for ambulatory-care sensitive hospitalization (HR 3.2 for 0 to 25% adherence; HR 1.9 for 26 to 50% adherence).

"For young children, poor well-child care visit adherence was associated with increased risk for ambulatory care- sensitive hospitalization in this integrated health care delivery system," the researchers wrote.


References

  1. Tom JO et al. Am J Manag Care. 2013;19(5):354-360.
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