In this issue of JAMA Pediatrics, Bui et al1 present rich evidence on spending on health services for children. Using rigorous methods to estimate spending by setting, condition, age, sex, and year, the authors unpack what is sometimes a black box of health expenditures to elucidate health care cost drivers for children. Their analysis is particularly robust in its use of multiple data sources, which enables the authors to pinpoint spending and, in turn, allows policy makers and payers to target efforts to redesign delivery systems. As the nation is on the cusp of renewed discussions over how to finance health services for children, there are several reasons to interpret these spending estimates as a success story in health care financing, but there are also some areas of consideration for future policy.
Garfield RL. Spending on Children’s Health Care in the United StatesAccomplishments and Challenges in Financing Health Services for Children. JAMA Pediatr. Published online December 27, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2016.4084