A recent study has found that, even when fully insured, many children who sustain a brain injury may go to the hospital, but will not be taken for follow-up appointments with their primary care physicians. Considering that pediatric brain injury can result in challenges that don't appear until years later, it is a significant health care gap that children are not receiving follow-up treatment from their regular doctors.
Research shows that primary care doctors are ideally positioned to watch for changes in a child's needs in the years after a brain injury. Schools may also be in a position to watch for changes, but often there is a lack of personnel trained in traumatic brain injury evaluation.
The researchers of the study suggest that long-term care plans need to be developed and implemented to bridge this healthcare gap.
Keenan HT, Murphy NA, Staheli R, & Savitz LA. Healthcare utilization in the first year after pediatric traumatic brain injury in an insured population. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation. (July 2012).