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Rural Areas and Children’s Health Care Coverage, Use, Expenditures, and Quality: Policy Implications

      The analysis of data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality by urban influence code in this issue is a new and compelling way to look at health care access, use, costs, and quality for America’s children.

      Chevarley FM, Owens PL, Zodet, MW, Simpson, LA, McCormick MC, Dougherty D. Health Care for Children and Youth in the United States. Annual Report on Patterns of Coverage, Utilization, Quality, and Expenditures by Geographic Area. Ambulatory Pediatrics. This issue. (pp. xxx)

      In this accompanying commentary we focus on the topic of rurality and children from a policy perspective as health care needs in rural areas have long been a focus of policy attention,
      Institute of Medicine
      U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment
      but there has been relatively little attention to health care for children living in these areas.
      • Hughes D.
      • Rosenbaum S.
      An overview of maternal and infant health services in rural America.
      • Yawn B.
      • Mainous 3rd, A.G.
      • Love M.
      • et al.
      Do rural and urban children have comparable asthma care utilization?.
      First and foremost, differences in health care and health status between rural and urban children have been previously reported,

      Chevarley FM, Owens PL, Zodet, MW, Simpson, LA, McCormick MC, Dougherty D. Health Care for Children and Youth in the United States. Annual Report on Patterns of Coverage, Utilization, Quality, and Expenditures by Geographic Area. Ambulatory Pediatrics. This issue. (pp. xxx)

      • Vargas C.
      • Ronzio C.
      • Hayes K.
      Oral health status of children and adolescents by rural residence, United States.
      U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service
      Rural Children at a Glance.
      • MacPherson A.
      • To T.
      • Parkin P.
      • et al.
      Urban/rural variation in children’s bicycle-related injuries.
      • Champion J.
      • Kelly P.
      • Shain R.
      • et al.
      Rural Mexican-American adolescent sexual risk behavior.
      • Mainous A.I.
      • Steyer T.
      • Geesey M.
      as have conditions in adults that may have their origins in childhood or adolescence. Given these differences in health status, the data in our annual report suggest that rural children may face specific challenges in receiving health care to meet these needs. We draw on these findings to suggest some opportunities for policy development that would promote improvements in the care of children in rural areas of this country.
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