Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Socioeconomic status not associated with access to cochlear implants, study finds

Date:
July 19, 2010
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
Poor children with hearing loss appear to have equal access to cochlear implantation, but have more complications and worse compliance with follow-up regimens than children with higher socioeconomic status, according to a new study.

Poor children with hearing loss appear to have equal access to cochlear implantation, but have more complications and worse compliance with follow-up regimens than children with higher socioeconomic status, according to a report in the July issue of Archives of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

"Cochlear implantation is a powerful tool for helping children with severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss gain the ability to hear, achieve age-appropriate reading skills and develop communication skills equal to those of their hearing counterparts," the authors write as background information in the article. "Owing to cochlear implant's well established societal cost-effectiveness, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services included cochlear implantation as a point of emphasis of Healthy People 2010." However, recent studies estimate that only 55 percent of all candidates for cochlear implants age 1 to 6 receive them.

Medicaid status -- since it is based on federal poverty levels -- has been used as a proxy for socioeconomic status. David T. Chang, Ph.D., of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Cleveland, and colleagues and studied 133 pediatric patients who were referred for cochlear implants between 1996 and 2008, including 64 who were Medicaid-insured and 69 who were privately insured. Some have suggested that inadequate Medicaid reimbursement leading to negative financial pressures on hospitals has been a factor in limiting access to cochlear implants; however, since Medicaid coverage in Ohio is available for all eligible children and has full cochlear implant benefits, the authors were able to study the effects of socioeconomic status alone on cochlear implant access and outcomes.

There was no difference between the two groups in the odds of receiving an initial implantation, age at referral to the cochlear implant program or age at implantation. However, the odds of complications following implantation were almost five-fold greater in Medicaid-insured children than privately insured children (10 complications in 51 Medicaid insured patients, or 19.6 percent, vs. three complications in 61 privately insured patients, or 4.9 percent). Major complications were also more common in the Medicaid population (six or 11.8 percent vs. two or 3.3 percent). In addition, patients on Medicaid missed substantially more follow-up appointments (35 percent vs. 23 percent) and more consecutive visits (1.9 vs. 1.1) than did those on private insurance.

"Given the excellent Medicaid coverage in Ohio, our results suggest that eliminating the definite financial obstacle that currently exists in other states across the nation for children from lower-income households would allow all eligible children, regardless of socioeconomic background, access to this powerful technology," the authors write. "However, despite equal access among Medicaid-insured and privately insured patients, there seem to be important differences between the groups postimplantation that influence outcome, namely, decreased follow-up compliance, increased incidence of minor and major complications and decreased rates of sequential bilateral implantation," or the implantation of a second device in the other ear.

"Taken together, these results indicate that centers should further investigate opportunities to minimize these downstream disparities," they conclude.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. David T. Chang; Alvin B. Ko; Gail S. Murray; James E. Arnold; Cliff A. Megerian. Lack of Financial Barriers to Pediatric Cochlear Implantation: Impact of Socioeconomic Status on Access and Outcomes. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg, 2010; 136 (7): 648-657

Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Socioeconomic status not associated with access to cochlear implants, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 July 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100719163958.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2010, July 19). Socioeconomic status not associated with access to cochlear implants, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100719163958.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Socioeconomic status not associated with access to cochlear implants, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100719163958.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) Conjoined twins Emmett and Owen Ezell were separated by doctors in August. Now, nearly nine months later, they're being released from the hospital. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins