Bronchitis and asthma most commonly treated conditions among children

Research Activities, February 2012, No. 378

The five most commonly treated medical conditions among children in 2008 were acute bronchitis, asthma, trauma-related disorders, middle-ear infections, and mental disorders, according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

More than 40 percent of the Nation's 74 million children age 17 and younger were treated for at least one of those conditions that year.

The Federal agency also found that of the five most commonly treated conditions among children in 2008:

  • Mental disorders represented the fifth most commonly treated condition—5 million children were treated—yet the average expense per child was highest at $2,483.
  • Bronchitis was one of the most widely reported ailments, for which 12 million children received medical care, yet of the top five most commonly treated conditions, the cost of treatment was lowest at an average $226 per child.
  • Private insurance paid the largest share of treatment costs for bronchitis (55 percent), trauma (62 percent), and middle-ear infections (64 percent), while Medicaid paid the largest share for treatment of asthma (51 percent) and mental disorders (46 percent). Expenses included the costs of office doctor visits, prescription drugs, and hospital care.

The data in this AHRQ News and Numbers summary are taken from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), a detailed source of information on the health services used by Americans, the frequency with which they are used, the cost of those services, and how they are paid. For more information, go to Statistical Brief #349: Health Care Expenditures for the Five Most Common Children's Conditions, 2008.

For additional information, or to speak with an AHRQ data expert, please contact Linwood Norman at Linwood.Norman@ahrq.hhs.gov or call (301) 427-1248.

Current as of February 2012
Internet Citation: Bronchitis and asthma most commonly treated conditions among children: Research Activities, February 2012, No. 378. February 2012. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/research-activities/feb12/0212RA25.html