Longer well-child visits for babies and toddlers make for happier parents because doctors can fit in more advice and answer more questions, a new study finds.
But most well-child visits last less than 20 minutes and pediatricians are getting even more time-crunched as health care systems look to cut extra expenses any way they can, researchers write in Pediatrics.
“The disability rates for children continue to increase, and the nature of disability is changing,” with more kids getting diagnosed with behavioral and developmental problems, lead author Dr. Neal Halfon, from the University of California, Los Angeles Center for Healthier Children, Families and Communities, told Reuters Health.
American companies will likely pay an average of 5.4 percent more for health benefits in 2012, marking the lowest increase in costs since 1997.
American companies will likely pay an average of 5.4 percent more for health benefits in 2012, according to national survey by benefits consulting firm Mercer. This would mark the lowest increase since 1997. However, employees can expect the cost of their health benefits to continue increasing at a faster pace than their earnings.
The annual survey included responses from almost 1,600 employers. The findings of the analysis reflect employer efforts to cut costs by such methods as offering employees lower-cost health plans having increased paycheck contributions and higher deductibles.
Without any cost-cutting measures, employer health benefit costs are expected to increase by 7.1 percent, on average, which is a decline of close to 2 percent when compared to average annual increases of around 9 percent annually over the last five years.