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Treating Children with Upper Respiratory Infections

Look for differences of at least four percent.

Smaller differences often are not significant

Treating Children with Upper Respiratory Infections

How HMOs scored on meeting national standards of care
  • 0% (Worse)
  • (Better) 100%
Kaiser Permanente - Northern California 95% Horizontal bar, 95 units
Kaiser Permanente - Southern California 92% Horizontal bar, 92 units
Western Health Advantage 87% Horizontal bar, 87 units
CIGNA HealthCare of CA 85% Horizontal bar, 85 units
Blue Cross HMO - CaliforniaCare 82% Horizontal bar, 82 units
PacifiCare of California 82% Horizontal bar, 82 units
Blue Shield of California HMO 80% Horizontal bar, 80 units
Health Net of California, Inc. 79% Horizontal bar, 79 units
Aetna Health of California Inc. 77% Horizontal bar, 77 units

About This Rating

What Was Measured?

What percentage of children in the HMO, ages 3 months to 18 years, who had an upper respiratory infection (common cold) were not given an antibiotic — medicines that don’t work for these viral infections.

These results are based on a sample of HMO patient administrative records.

Why Is It Important?

If your child has a cold, he or she probably does not need an antibiotic. Colds are viruses, and antibiotics do not work for viral infections. Antibiotics treat infections caused by bacteria. Each year, about 1 out of 5 children wrongly receives antibiotics for a cold. Taking antibiotics when they are not necessary puts your child at risk for the medicine’s side effects. Also, if your child uses antibiotics too often, they can be less effective for treating infections in the future.