Data from the National Health Survey show healthcare considered routine by today’s standards is simply inaccessible for some 20.3 million children, in spite of the fact that the number of uninsured children has plummeted by nearly two thirds in the past decades (from 10 million uninsured in 1997 to 3.3 million in 2015). This is most evident in preventive medicine (including immunizations), management of acute and chronic medical conditions, and timely access to subspecialists, according to the nonprofit Children’s Health Fund. The fact that the rates of insured children and children who receive adequate care are not in sync draws into question the effectiveness of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or “Obamacare”), which President-Elect Donald Trump has vowed at various times to overhaul or scrap altogether. Regardless of its status, urgent care may be poised to fill the gap between recommended essential care and where deficiencies exist. Promote the cost and convenience benefits urgent care can offer compared with other settings, and that clinical staff is well suited to treating patients of all ages. In particular, at this time of year, ensure that flu immunizations programs are well publicized. Ask about the child’s annual physical exam routine; if there isn’t one, explain the benefits and assure them that your center is prepared to step in.
Can Urgent Care Fill the Child Healthcare Gap?