Pediatrics is the branch of medicine dealing with the care of infants, children and adolescents and the prevention and treatment of their diseases. Although most thinking and analysis of health care is taken from the adult health care system, issues surrounding pediatrics are unique and challenging and should be treated differently than adults.
A major challenge the pediatric healthcare community faces is in relation to Medicaid funding.
While the cost of health care for most children is relatively low, those who require hospitalization or specialty care experience a tremendous increase in total cost. Additionally, with a focus on preventative medicine, more resources need to be allocated to pediatrics. Medicaid funding for children estimates about 20 percent of total funds, yet children make up about 60 percent of enrollees. Typically, nursing homes and geriatrics utilize the most Medicaid dollars but for a much smaller population. While healthcare reform is an ongoing issue, the unique needs of children need to be included.