Financial Burden for Families of Children with Special Health Care Needs

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Objectives:We describe family finance-related burden experienced by families with children with special health care needs (CSHCN). The paper further seeks to describe correlates of family financial burden.Methods:We examined correlates of family finance-related burden using multivariate methods and the National Survey of CSHCN, a nationally representative cross-sectional survey of CSHCN. We also examined state-level correlations.Results:Fully 40% of families with CSHCN, or 3,746,000 families nation-wide, experience financial burden related to their child's condition. Experiencing a finance-related problem is negatively associated with Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) indicators and positively associated with poor-child health status. States that better meet MCHB indicators generally have lower levels of family finance-related problems.Conclusions:Families with CSHCN have high levels of finance-related family problems. Development of appropriate systems of care appears to offer a mechanism for alleviating the financial burdens of these families.

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