Title

The effects of state facial surgery mandates on timeliness of primary cleft repair surgery in the United States

Abstract

Objective: This study examines the effects of state facial surgery mandates on the timeliness of primary cleft repair surgery for privately insured children with oral clefts in the United States. Materials and Methods: Using IBM Health MarketScan® Database from 2001 to 2017, we estimate regression models separately for age at cleft lip repair and cleft palate repair by having a mandate while considering child-level factors and other state differences. The sample includes 1,451 children who had primary cleft lip repair by age 12 months, and 1,402 children who had primary cleft palate repair by age 18 months. Results: A mandate was associated with earlier cleft lip repair by 13 days (95% CI, −21.5 to −4.7 days) when controlling for state differences, regardless if the child had other birth defects. For children needing cleft palate repair, a mandate was associated with earlier surgery by 87 days (95% CI, −136.1 to −38.4 days) only when no other birth defects were present. Conclusions: State facial surgery mandates were associated with earlier cleft lip repair for children with or without other birth defects, and earlier cleft palate repair for children without other birth defects (besides oral clefts). Findings suggest benefits to privately insured children with oral clefts from state mandates to cover needed services.

Publication Title

Oral Diseases

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