KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Studies Find U.S. Children Face Health Quality Issues

U.S. News & World Report/HealthDay News reports: "Uninsured children in the United States are three times more likely to die from trauma injuries than children with private insurance, according to a new study. Children with public insurance, such as Medicaid or the State Children's Health Insurance Program, are about twice as likely to die as those with private insurance, the study found. ... The findings, published in the October issue of the Journal of Pediatric Surgery, stemmed from an analysis of National Trauma Data Bank information on 174,921 trauma patients aged 17 and younger. The researchers suggested several possible reasons for the disparity they found: Trauma patients with no insurance or public insurance might be transferred from one hospital to another, causing a delay in treatment. Uninsured patients might be given fewer medical tests, leading to inadequate diagnoses or missed injuries. If uninsured patients don't speak English, if it's not their native language, or if their education level is lower overall, they might have trouble talking to health-care providers about their medical history and quality of care after they were injured" (11/3).

The Wall Street Journal/The Associated Press reports: "Premature births, often due to poor care of low-income pregnant women, are the main reason the U.S. infant mortality rate is higher than in most European countries, a government report said Tuesday. About 1 in 8 U.S. births are premature. Early births are much less common most of Europe; for example, only 1 in 18 babies are premature in Ireland and Finland. Poor access to prenatal care, maternal obesity and smoking, too-early cesarean sections and induced labor and fertility treatments are among the reasons for preterm births, experts said" (11/3). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.