Office visits by children can be for well or problem-focused care. Well-care visits for children routinely include assessment of emotional and social development, in addition to physical health and development.
Problem-focused visits do not routinely include these comprehensive assessments. Receipt of well care is tracked nationally as a measure of health care quality.
An NCHS report describes physician office visits for well and problem-focused care among children under age 18 years. This analysis complements the information on children’s visits contained in the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS) 2012 online tables.
- Physician office visit rates for well care were lower for school-aged (those aged 6–11 years) children (31 per 100 population) and adolescents aged 12–17 years (29 per 100 population) than for younger children (349 and 74 per 100 population for children under age 1 year and 1–5 years, respectively).
- Visit rates for well and problem-focused care were highest for general pediatricians (59 and 173 per 100 population) compared with other primary (7 and 25 per 100 population) and specialty care providers (1 and 24 per 100 population) across all age groups.
- Among school-aged and adolescent children, a higher percentage of well-care visits had recommended height, weight, and blood pressure measurements recorded, compared with visits for problem-focused care.