It is unclear which specific well-child visits (WCVs) are most frequently missed and whether age-specific patterns of attendance differ by race or insurance type.


We conducted a retrospective cohort study of children 0 to 6 years old between 2011 and 2016 within 2 health networks spanning 20 states. WCVs were identified by using International Classification of Diseases, Ninth and 10th Revisions and Current Procedural Terminology codes. We calculated adherence to the 13 American Academy of Pediatrics–recommended WCVs from birth to age 6 years. To address data completeness, we made 2 adherence calculations after a child’s last recorded WCV: 1 in which we assumed all subsequent WCVs were attended outside the network and 1 in which we assumed none were.


We included 152 418 children in our analysis. Most children were either publicly insured (77%) or uninsured (14%). The 2-, 4-, and 6-month visits were the most frequently attended (63% [assuming no outside care after the last recorded WCV] to 90% [assuming outside care]), whereas the 15- and 18-months visits (41%–75%) and 4-year visit (19%–49%) were the least frequently attended. Patients who were publicly insured and uninsured (versus privately insured) had higher odds of missing WCVs. Hispanic and Asian American (versus non-Hispanic white) patients had higher odds of attending WCVs.


The 15- and 18-month WCVs as well as the 4-year WCV are the least frequently attended WCVs. The former represent opportunities to identify developmental delays, and the latter represents an opportunity to assess school readiness.

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