Study: Uninsured kids die more often in hospitals

Drawing a conclusion likely to be challenged at all levels of the healthcare industry, a new study by advocacy group Families USA has concluded that uninsured children do much worse in the health system than insured kids. The study, which was conducted by a researcher at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, concluded that children without health insurance are twice as likely to die from injuries as insured children. It also found that uninsured children are less likely to get costly care, less likely to be offered rehab services, and get discharged earlier.

Researcher J. Mack Tilford drew this conclusion after studying two years of broad data on children's treatment, including data on 25,000 children with injuries and 6,500 with traumatic brain injuries. Tilford concluded that after controlling for age, health, severity of injury and other factors, uninsured kids had 327 "excess deaths" during that period. Hospital industry representatives disputed this conclusion, however, arguing that the sample size was small, type of hospital was not considered and that the research was not peer-reviewed.

For more data from the study:
- read this USA Today article
- read the Families USA report (.pdf)