The health of children depends at least partially on their access to health services. Health care for children includes physical examinations, preventive care, health education, observations, screening, immunizations, and sick care.42 Having a usual source of care—a particular person or place a child goes to for sick and preventive care—facilitates the timely and appropriate use of pediatric services.43, 44 Emergency rooms are excluded here as a usual source of care because their focus on emergency care generally excludes the other elements of health care.45
NOTE: Children with both public and private insurance coverage are placed in the private insurance group. Emergency rooms are excluded as a usual source of care. A break is shown in the lines because in 1997 the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) was redesigned. Data for 1997–2011 are not strictly comparable with earlier data.
SOURCE: National Center for Health Statistics, National Health Interview Survey.
42 Green, M. (Ed.). (1994). Bright futures: Guidelines for health supervision of infants, children, and adolescents. Arlington, VA: National Center for Education in Maternal and Child Health.
43 Simpson, G., Bloom, B., Cohen, R.A., and Parsons, P.E. (1997). Access to health care. Part 1: Children. Vital and Health Statistics, 10(Series 196). Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics.
44 Bartman, B.A., Moy, E., and D'Angelo, L.J. (1997). Access to ambulatory care for adolescents: The role of a usual source of care. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 8, 214–226.
45 Folton, G.L. (1995). Critical issues in urban emergency medical services for children. Pediatrics, 96(2), 174–179.