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Value of Pediatrics Toolbox
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Promoting the Value of Pediatrics

 

​​​​​Pediatric care must be adequately paid in order to ensure access to care for patients. In addition, children's health care should not be fragmented—it should be provided through a medical home to ensure quality care and to prevent costly illnesses and injuries.

The AAP has developed these materials to assist our members in communicating to the media about one of the greatest values in healthcare today: preventive pediatric care. These materials focus on primary care provided in a medical home model.

These speaking points and approved quotes are for use in communicating with parents, the media, and the public. 

For use in communicating ​with p​​arents, the media and the public about the value of pediatrics:

  • Pediatricians are specially educated and trained in diagnosing and treating illnesses in infants, children and adolescents.
  • Comprehensive well-child care (or preventive care) benefits not only the individual patient and family, but the healthcare system as a whole, including health insurance companies, Medicaid and state children's health insurance programs.
  • Pediatricians are not just about shots and growth charts. They are concerned with the child's entire spectrum of development—physical, mental, social and emotional.
  • Well-child care truly is one of the greatest values in medicine. The cost of AAP-recommended preventive pediatric care for a healthy child from the first birthday to the second, for example, is about $600 for the year.  This is a bargain. It includes three well-child visits, physical exam, growth charting, blood pressure screenings, vision and hearing screenings, developmental/behavioral assessments, vaccines, tuberculin testing, and guidance on injury prevention, nutrition and more. Yet the parent typically pays only the cost of the office copay for this comprehensive package of quality care. Most important, this is a bargain by virtue of the costly illnesses and injuries that are prevented, keeping the child healthy not just for that year, but potentially for a lifetime.
  • Many pediatricians provide certain types of care at no profit, and often at a loss. For example, the vaccines they administer to their patients often cost the pediatrician's practice more than it will be reimbursed. Or they may have a heavy proportion of Medicaid patients, meaning they are not being paid very much for delivering care in these cases.
  • Pediatricians need and deserve to be fairly compensated for their work, and they need to run their practices as businesses despite a high proportion of low-cost or free care to their patients.
  • Some parents are opting to use urgent care, retail-based clinics and other venues to obtain diagnoses, treatments or physicals without having to make an appointment to see their pediatrician. This means having their child seen by a healthcare professional who is probably not a pediatrician and may not even be a doctor, and who does not know their child's history.
  • The idea that children can have minor problems taken care of at these alternative venues, and that the pediatrician's office should be saved for chronic or complex problems, creates a business model that can't work for primary-care pediatricians. It also compromises the important relationship that families and pediatricians should have in their team approach to child health and safety.
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics has called on its members to consider expanding their office hours to better accommodate the scheduling needs of parents and patients. Click here​ to see more information on this topic.

For use in working wi​th the media:

  • Pediatricians are specially educated and trained in diagnosing and treating illnesses in infants, children and adolescents.
  • Comprehensive well-child care (or preventive care) benefits not only the individual patient and family, but the healthcare system as a whole.
  • Well-child care truly is one of the greatest values in medicine. A whole year of preventive or well-child care costs relatively little, and provides huge value in both quality of care and in the costly illnesses and injuries that are prevented.
  • Children deserve a medical home—a place where their care is accessible, family-centered, continuous, comprehensive, coordinated, compassionate and culturally effective.
  • Pediatricians are not just about shots and growth charts. We are concerned with your child's entire spectrum of development—physical, mental, social and emotional.
  • Many pediatricians provide certain types of care at no profit, and often at a loss. For example, the vaccines we administer may cost our practice more than it will be reimbursed. But we do it because we believe so strongly in the importance of immunizations to the individual child and to our nation's public health.
  • Pediatricians need and deserve to be fairly compensated for their work, and they need to run their practices as businesses despite a high proportion of low-cost or free care to their patients.​
  • Parents are opting to use urgent care, retail-based clinics and other venues to obtain quick diagnoses, treatments or physicals without having to make an appointment to see their pediatrician. This means their child is seen by someone who is probably not a pediatric specialist, and certainly does not have the child's medical history.
  • Pediatricians have a great deal of education and training about infectious diseases in children. Isn't it best to have the experts diagnose and treat such an illness so that the child—and the community—have the best chance of fighting it?
  • Do you really want to walk into a strip mall storefront to find someone to say your child is fit to participate in a particular sport, when no one in the place knows anything about your child?
  • The idea that children can have minor problems taken care of at these alternative venues, and that the pediatrician's office should be saved for chronic or complex problems, is not good in a couple of ways. For one thing, it fragments the patient's care, and for another, it creates a business model that can't work for many primary-care pediatricians.
  • Many pediatric practices have expanded their office hours to better meet the needs of patients and parents. Many more are looking at doing so in the future.​
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