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Disparities in follow-up care linked to those with lower socio economic status

Posted On Wed, July 21, 2010

Children on Medicaid are less likely than those with private health insurance coverage to receive follow-up care and have a higher incidence of complications after receiving cochlear implants, a study in the Archives of Otolaryngology reveals.

The rate of complications post-surgery were five times higher for children insured through Medicaid, according to the study. Increased rates of missed follow-up appointments were also found.

Given that Medicaid coverage for children in Ohio covers cochlear implants, researchers cannot use finances as a reason for the disparity in follow-up treatment.

"Given the excellent Medicaid coverage in Ohio, our results suggest that eliminating the definite financial obstacle that currently exists in other states across the nation for children from lower-income households would allow all eligible children, regardless of socioeconomic background, access to this powerful technology," the authors wrote.

Differences after surgery appear to arise even with equal access to care, the authors continued to say.

Recent healthcare initiatives by the government have been aimed at ensuring all citizens have access to appropriate care. These findings indicate that perhaps obstacles beyond cost affect patients as well.ADNFCR-2297-ID-19902060-ADNFCR

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