Child healthcare costs rising

FILE - In this Oct. 6, 2015 file photo, the website, where people can buy health insurance, is displayed on a laptop screen in Washington. The government's insurance website is faster and easier to use, but as a third sign-up season gets underway, President Barack Obama's health care law is approaching limits. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

(WISH) – It’s getting more expensive to keep kids healthy, according to a new study published Tuesday.

The study in Jama Pediatrics says child healthcare costs increased 56 percent between 1996 and 2013, a jump of roughly $83 billion.

Researchers say routine care for newborns made up the largest chunk of spending in 2013.

“When you place spending on children in the context of all health care, spending on children has been relatively low,” said Rachel Garfield, a senior researcher at the Kaiser Family Foundation. The foundation focuses on national health issues.

“Yet it has led to better access to care and even some better long-term outcomes for children,” said Garfield, author of an editorial accompanying the study.

Other top items include treatments for attention deficit disorder and routine dental care.

“Conditions such as ADHD, asthma, congenital anomalies, injuries and autistic spectrum disorders have spending that is increasing more quickly,” the study’s lead researcher Joseph Dieleman said. “In addition, spending on newborns, especially in well newborn care in the hospital, is growing at a fast rate.”

According to the study, these findings only represent money spent on health care and do not take into account other costs, such as child care expenses and parents’ lost wages.

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