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Recession Didn't Affect Children's Health Spending Between 2009-2012

Update Date: Feb 28, 2014 09:15 AM EST

Despite recession, spending on health care for children increased between 2009 and 2012. The spending covered by employer-sponsored insurance (ESI) was recorded to rise on an average by 5.5 percent per year. 

The new report released by the Health Care Cost Institute noted that more dollars were spent on boys than girls. Infants and toddlers at in age group 0-3 received higher attention than any other group, the report said. 

According to the report, per capita spending on children reached $2,437 in 2012 which is $363 increase from 2009. 

Growth in prescription used by children through age 18 was also noted along with the rise in the number of teens being admitted for mental health and substance use (MHSU) treatment. 

"The trend of rising use of prescriptions among children is particularly notable," said HCCI Executive Director David Newman in the press release. "We, and others, need to focus on the mental health needs of our children."

The report, Children's Health Spending: 2009-2012, is based on fee-for-service claims for 10.5 million children per year who were covered under the ESI. 

Use of CNS drugs by younger children in the ages 4-8, pre teens aged between 9 and 13, and teens (14-18) also rose in the duration. Further, the study found that in each group boys had higher use of CNS drugs compared to girls.

"We hope this report illustrates where health care spending for children is occurring," said HCCI Senior Researcher Amanda Frost in the press release. "While we know that prices have fueled health care spending growth, this report shows where those dollars are going to help identify implications for children's health and care."

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