Data show pediatric care access declining in the US

Access to pediatric inpatient care is on a downward trend in the US, with factors including a rise in child mental health hospitalizations, ongoing staffing shortages and Medicaid reimbursement changes. Children often have to wait hours for an inpatient bed, availability is particularly strained at facilities in rural areas, and February’s percentage of occupied pediatric beds nationwide was higher than at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.