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Research Letter
October 2016

Trends in Access to Primary Care for Children in the United States, 2002-2013

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • 2Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Pediatr. 2016;170(10):1023-1025. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2016.0985

To benefit from health care, children must be able to access it. One framework for access includes 5 domains: availability (adequacy of supply and resources), accessibility (geographic), accommodation (office hours, telephone access, and same-day access), acceptability (comfort with physician or other nonphysician professional), and affordability.1 In many of these domains, the United States ranks poorly compared with other developed nations.2 Over the last decade, there have been efforts to improve access, including patient-centered medical home initiatives and the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Using 2002-2013 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) data, we describe how access to primary care has changed over the last decade for children.

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