Disparities in children with otitis media: the effect of insurance status

Patel, S.; Schroeder, J. W., Jr.

Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2011 Apr 16; 144(1):73-7

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To determine the difference between children with private and public insurance at the time of referral to a pediatric otolaryngologist. STUDY DESIGN: Prospective study. SETTING: Tertiary care hospital. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Data relating to the severity of a patient's otitis media (number of infections, doctor visits, antibiotic courses) were collected by phone interview. All patients referred to a pediatric otolaryngologist at an urban tertiary care hospital over a 5-month period were included. RESULTS: One hundred eighty-three children were studied: 87 consecutive patients in the private third-party insurance group (PIN) and 96 patients in the state-based Medicaid insurance group (PA). During the 6 months prior to referral, children in the PIN group had a median 4 acute otitis media infections with 5 courses of oral antibiotics and 6 primary care visits compared to 3 infections with 3 courses of antibiotics and 4 primary care visits for the PA group (P = .0009, P

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