Core Function 2
Access and Utilization of Quality Health Services
Promoting access to quality health care is a core legislatively mandated function for
public health and supports the Florida Comprehensive Plan's policies of providing
programs to protect the health, safety and welfare of Florida's children.
Major Principles for Access and Utilization of Quality Health Services for Children and Youth
All children should have access to a medical home and health insurance with
benefits that cover their primary, preventive, mental health, dental and
catastrophic health care needs
Schools and child care centers where children congregate offer a special
opportunity for outreach and for primary health care and screening of children for
health care problems
Health services for children includes educating families about their child's
health care needs and advising parents and children on health care behaviors that
may jeopardize their health
Children with health insurance are more likely to have a physician as their usual
source of care, be adequately immunized, obtain dental care, seek and obtain care
when they have chronic or acute conditions (ear infections, asthma, lead poisoning)
and not use expensive inpatient and emergency care.
Pregnant women with
insurance are more likely to have adequate prenatal care and better birth outcomes.
(6) Untreated illnesses in children and pregnancy can
lead to disability and even death in vulnerable young developing children.
Health Service Availability
In determining the need for health services, the first question of concern is — how
many pregnant women, children and youth have health insurance? Secondly, of those
with health insurance, does the benefit package cover important health services such
as: pregnancy, preventive and primary care, chronic care, emergency care, and
therapeutic interventions. For those without adequate insurance, public health
professionals work to put community patchworks together to assure at least the
availability of preventive and primary services.
After a dramatic fall in the numbers of uninsured children, and even after Florida
enrolled over 200,000 new children into new publicly supported child health
insurance programs that can serve children up to 200 percent of poverty, the rate of
uninsured children has begun to rise. A weakening economy further exacerbated by
the events of September 11, 2001, and the rising cost of health care to businesses
is making the job of insuring all of Florida's children challenging.
Figure 13: Florida Children (0 to 18) Without Health Insurance, 1993, 1998 and
Sources: (Agency for Health Care Administration, Health Insurance Studies, 1993)
Corporation Survey; (Agency for Health Care Insurance and The University of
Florida Health Insurance Study: Volume One The Telephone Survey;
Bono 2002) Results From The Statewide Children's Health Insurance
Survey - Phase 1: A
report prepared for the Healthy Kids Board of Directors an
After a dramatic fall in the numbers of uninsured children the rate of uninsured
children has begun to rise.
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