Kids’ Health Care Can Vary Widely by Location (CNN)


A new study by The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice’s (TDI) Dartmouth Atlas Project found that pediatric care varies regionally, with the quantity and quality of children’s care dependent upon where they live, reports CNN.

The researchers, who focused on the Northern New England area, expanded upon a 1970 study that looked at the variation of care for children with throat problems, the article notes. The 1970 study found that 60 percent of the children who lived in Morrisville, Vt., had their tonsils removed by the age of 15, compared to less than 20 percent in other communities.

To find out if the variations in care continued, the Dartmouth researchers revisited the issue. “Again, they found a wide variety in the quantity and quality of children’s care,” writes CNN.

“The regional differences are striking here,” David Goodman, professor of pediatrics and of community and family medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine and director of TDI’s Center for Health Policy Research, tells CNN. For example, the researchers found that the rates of tonsillectomies in the region varied significantly. “These surgeries are fairly common in younger children, where there are absolutely no studies showing that this is beneficial, and even with older children, the beneficial effects are quite small,” says Goodman. “What this shows is that whether a child has this surgery depends more on where they get their care as opposed to who they are.”

Read the full story, published 12/11/13 by CNN.

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