BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES Children with neurologic impairment (NI) are a growing subset of children who frequently use health care. We examined health care use and spending trends across services for children with NI during their first 5 years of life. METHODS This was a retrospective study of 13 947 children with NI in the multistate IBM Medicaid MarketScan Database (2009–2017). We established birth cohorts of children with NI and analyzed claims from birth to 5 years. NI, identified by using International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision, diagnosis codes, was defined as ≥1 neurologic diagnosis that was associated with functional and/or intellectual impairment. We measured annual health care use and per-member-per-year spending by inpatient, emergency department (ED), and outpatient services. Population trends in use and spending were assessed with logistic and linear regression, respectively. RESULTS During their first versus fifth year, 66.8% vs 5.8% of children with NI used inpatient services, and 67.8% vs 44.4% used ED services. Annual use in both categories decreased over 0–5 years (inpatient odds ratio: 0.35, 95% confidence interval: 0.34 to 0.36; ED odds ratio: 0.78, 95% confidence interval: 0.77 to 0.79). The use of outpatient services (primary care, specialty care, home health) decreased gradually. Per-member-per-year spending on inpatient services remained the largest spending category: $83 352 (90.2% of annual spending) in the first year and $1944 (25.5%) in the fifth year. CONCLUSIONS For children with early-onset NI from 0–5 years, use and spending on inpatient services decreased dramatically; ED and outpatient service use decreased more gradually. These findings may help systems, clinicians, and families optimize care by anticipating and adjusting for shifting use of health care services.
OBJECTIVES The mental health of parents of children with medical complexity (CMC) is poorly understood, yet it drives child and family health outcomes. For parents of CMC, compared with parents of noncomplex children with special health care needs (CSHCN) and children without special health care needs (non-CSHCN), we examined self-reported mental health, knowledge of community sources for help, and emotional support. METHODS Using parent-reported data from the combined 2016–2017 National Survey of Children’s Health, we divided the population into 3 groups: households with CMC, noncomplex CSHCN, and non-CSHCN. We compared these groups regarding the following: (1) parents’ risks for poor or fair mental health and knowledge of where to go for community help and (2) parent-reported sources of emotional support. RESULTS Of 63 955 588 parent-child dyads (weighted from a sample of 65 204), parents of CMC had greater adjusted odds of reporting poor or fair mental health compared with parents of noncomplex CSHCN (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 2.0; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.1–3.8) and non-CSHCN (aOR 4.6; 95% CI 2.5–8.6). Parents of CMC had greater odds of not knowing where to find community help compared with parents of noncomplex CSHCN (aOR 2.1; 95% CI 1.4–3.1) and non-CSHCN (aOR 2.9; 95% CI 2.0–4.3). However, parents of CMC were most likely to report receiving emotional support from health care providers and advocacy groups (P < .001). CONCLUSIONS Among all parents, those with CMC were at the highest risk to report suboptimal mental health. They more often reported that they do not know where to find community help, but they did say that they receive emotional support from health care providers and advocacy groups. Future researchers should identify ways to directly support the emotional wellness of parents of CMC.