• Health care spending on children is going up

    I have a new post up at the Academy Health Blog that highlights a recent HCCI report on health care spending on children in the last few years. It’s “Spending per child growing faster than all other age groups“, and you should go read it!

    @aaronecarroll

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    • I would have thought it would have been pharmaceuticals, but your commentary doesn’t support that. although generic adderal is more expensive than band. Would be interesting in breaking down the data by socialeconomic group since there is some data show middle class and higher families spend have higher rates of AHDH and Autism than lower class, but the correlation seems to be higher screening rates in middle and upper class families.

    • Has spending on children followed the expected track of overall per-capita health care spending from prior to the recession? My guess would be that slowdown in non-child spending has predominantly been because of the recession (as most health economists seem to agree) and the forgoing of care because of financial contraints. But, adults won’t limit their children’s care because of a scarcity of discretionary income. Thus, the thought is “my care is discretionary when times are tough, but not my child’s.”

    • I remember reading about 6 months ago that children’s hospitals are often included in the “must have” list when it comes to insurers negotiating networks and provider contracts. Therefore the argument goes, insurers lack negotiating strength and so children’s hospitals are able to negotiate higher rates than general community hospitals.

      I can’t find a link right now to what I remember, but maybe this article raises (or refutes?) that hypothesis. All I can read is the abstract so I’m not sure. http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/31/5/973.abstract

      The Kaiser News piece at least does not address what components of children’s medical expenses are contributing to the cost increases. It may not be hospital care anyway.
      http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/Stories/2012/May/21/higher-health-care-prices-hospitals.aspx

    • I can believe. Medical economics does not fit the capitalistic model. Competition increases cost. As you know here in Indianapolis we have competing children’s hospitals which results in duplication of services and therefore increase costs since both have offer expensive sub speciality care
      I have no evidence but as a practicing pediatrician I see increase ER utilization with its attendant unnecessary testing which is increasing costs.

      Your posts are terrific

      David Porter