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Child Health And Wellbeing Assignment Discovery

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The goal-setting effort of Step 1 would highlight areas in which measurement of the quality of child and adolescent health and health care services is strong, as well as areas in which valid and reliable measures do not yet exist, areas that are difficult to measure, and populations that are difficult to reach. Step 2 focuses attention on the need to develop annual reports and standardized measures in the seven priority areas based on existing data sets, building on the multiple efforts of professional, public, and private-sector organizations.

While a large number of measures exist, efforts to monitor and improve the health and health care quality of children and adolescents are hampered by the absence of routine annual reports that focus on child and adolescent health and health care quality, as well as variations in both the measures themselves and the underlying data sources that support them. In the latter area, the committee has identified two issues of particular concern: (1) the absence of consistent measurement of disparities in health and health care quality to support the development of targeted interventions at the national and state levels, and (2) the retention of unnecessary or obsolete measures resulting from the adoption of standardized core measure sets over time, which can be addressed through a periodic review process.

Existing Opportunities to Include Children and Adolescents in Annual HHS Reports

The Secretary of HHS is already required to produce annual reports on health care quality and disparities (HHS, a, b), as well as annual reports on national prevention initiatives (HHS, b; NPC, ). These reports provide valuable opportunities to include specific attention to children and adolescents and to draw attention to the ways in which their needs may different from those of older populations.

Standardized Measurement of Disparities in Health and Health Care

The changing demography of America’s youth increases the importance of recognizing and addressing pervasive disparities and inequities in child and adolescent health and health care. As with the measurement of health and health care quality, the measurement of disparities involves multiple dimensions and criteria. Though many studies measure disparities in terms of racial or ethnic differences, disparities also involve issues of gender, household income, educational status of the child or parent, insurance type, and medical practice setting (see Chapter 2).

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