Case Management is More Successful in Insuring Latino Patients

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Health Insurance for Children

Community-based case managers are much more effective than traditional government outreach and enrollment programs in obtaining insurance coverage for uninsured Latino children, according to a study authored by a physician at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, and Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. The study appears in the December issue of Pediatrics, the world's leading pediatric journal.

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"To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate the elimination of a racial/ethnic disparity in health and healthcare," says Glenn Flores, MD, FAAP, associate professor of pediatrics, epidemiology and health policy at the Medical College and principal author of the study. "The intervention resulted in a dramatic increase in the number of Latino children being insured, surpassing even the percentage of insured Caucasian children," adds Dr. Flores. He is also director of the Center for the Advancement of Underserved Children, a joint program of the College and Children's Hospital.

Some 8.4 million children in the United States have no health insurance, despite the 1997 enactment of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) a federal initiative with $39 billion in funding. Latinos continue to be the most uninsured ethnic group, with 21 percent (2.9 million) uninsured. This rigorous, randomized, controlled trial of 275 children revealed that, compared with uninsured children in the Medicaid/SCHIP outreach and enrollment group, uninsured children assigned to community-based case managers were:

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