There goes the future

Americans—especially children—aren’t receiving adequate medical care. Heck, only 15 percent of adolescents get weighed annually, according to a new nationwide study that looked at more than 1,500 children. The scary thing: Most of them (82 percent) had private insurance. As a comparison, a study on adult health care showed that doctors offer appropriate outpatient care only 55 percent of the time. For children, it was actually worse (see below). Here are some of the findings of the new study, based on information gathered from 1998 to 2000 by Seattle Children’s Hospital Research Institute and the nonprofit Rand Corp.:

% of the time doctors                Care offered/
offered standard care                condition treated

47                                                Outpatient care

68                                                Acute medical problems

53                                                Chronic conditions

41                                                Preventive care

92                                                Upper respiratory infections

85                                                Hay fever

48                                                Urinary tract infections

46                                                Asthma

35                                                Adolescent preventive care

Source: The Associated Press