The employment and financial effects on families raising children with special health care needs: an
The employment and financial effects on families raising children with special health care needs: an examination of the evidence
Journal of Pediatric Health Care
INTRODUCTION: Over 10 million children in the United States have special health care needs (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 2008). Parents struggle to afford needed health care and wrestle with the dual responsibilities of caregiving and employment. Researchers from a variety of disciplines, health care, and social science, in particular, are analyzing what variables affect a family's ability to access needed health care while balancing work and caregiving. METHODS: A systematic literature review was conducted on the past 11 years of research that examined insurance status, insurance type, family out-of-pocket expenses, employment outcomes (reductions in hours or stopping work all together), and the role of receiving care in a medical home. RESULTS: It was found that private health insurance, more severe conditions, and specific diagnoses are related to increased expenses and employment changes. It was also found that receiving care in a medical home reduces both. DISCUSSION: It is vital that clinicians and policy makers move forward in expanding the concept of the medical home model as a means to improving the well-being of families raising children with special health care needs.