Patients on Medicaid, Black and Hispanic Patients Less Likely to Get Surgical Treatment for Epilepsy That Can Stop Seizures

December 18, 2023

Black and Hispanic children and patients on Medicaid were less likely to have any form of surgery for drug-resistant epilepsy than white children and those with private insurance, even though surgery is often more effective treatment than medication alone in appropriately selected patients, according to a study from lead author Dr. Sandi Lam, Division Head of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s of Hospital of Chicago. The study was presented in December at the American Epilepsy Society Annual Meeting in Orlando. 

"This research shows that children with epilepsy born into certain socioeconomic circumstances do not have the same chance at healthcare that can increase their chances of being alive in 10 years. This is happening in our communities in the United States," emphasizes Dr. Sandi Lam, Division Head of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Ann and Robert H Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago and lead author of the study. "Ongoing seizures in children are detrimental to their brains, to their overall health, to their chances of living full lives. Let's do something about helping all children and families get the healthcare they need. We cannot be complacent. Their lives may depend on it."

Read more about this study here.