U of M tracks slowdown in health care spending during recession


University of Minnesota researchers who studied how Americans cut back on health care expenses during the recession say children with special health needs were among those hardest hit by the downturn.

The study published in the journal Health Affairs looked at the slowdown in spending during the 2007-2009 period. It found that for the most part parents who were reducing their out-of-pocket health care spending cut back on their own dental care or prescription drugs, while spending on their children's needs stayed consistent.

But as the Pioneer Press reports, the researchers found that changed in families with children who have special health care needs such as diabetes, asthma, or depression. In those cases health care spending on the children's needs declined sharply.

The leader of the study was Pinar Karaca-Mandic, a professor in university's school of public health. She says the findings underscore the need to bolster insurance coverage for families with children to help protect them during economic hardship.

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