Children and Adolescents’ Access to Primary Care Practitioners
This measure is used to assess the percentage of members 12 months through 24 months and 25 months through 6 years age who had a visit with a primary care practitioner and members 7 years through 11 years and 12 years through 19 years of age who had a visit with a primary care practitioner during the measurement year or the year prior. The plan reports separate percentages for each of the four age stratifications.
The health of children depends partially on their access to health care services.60 Theoretical and empirical studies of access to health care have emphasized the importance of having health insurance and a regular source of care to ensure that children have access to health services.61 Health services and interventions are needed to deal with crises such as child abuse, which has risen to 850,000 substantiated cases a year; teen suicides, which have almost doubled since 1970; and teen homicides, which have doubled in the past decade. In addition, although the rates of many health conditions among children have remained stable, rates of respiratory conditions, especially asthma, have increased dramatically, and immunization rates for preschool children have been below recommended guidelines.
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