In a December 2013 Pediatrics study, “Using Electronic Health Records to Conduct Children’s Health Insurance Surveillance
,” published online Nov. 18, authors found for children with a clinic visit, significant differences exist in the characteristics of uninsured children compared to those with insurance
In data collected from a network of community health centers in 2010 and 2011, nearly one-third of children who were uninsured at their first visit remain uninsured at subsequent visits. Parents report difficulty in accessing quality insurance programs for their children, and as a result, millions of U.S. children remain uninsured or experience frequent gaps in coverage.
Primary care clinics can use electronic health records
to help identify uninsured patients and facilitate enrollment and retention in health insurance
, especially for those who are eligible for new programs being implemented. This surveillance can also be used to track patients at risk for having their coverage discontinued, and can help parents who are uncertain about the status of their child’s health insurance coverage.