Medical home for children and youth improves delivery of preventive services without raising expenditures
Today's pediatric medical home is a cultivated partnership between the patient, family, and primary care provider in cooperation with specialists and support from the community. Care for children delivered in a medical home is associated with 11 percent more preventive visits, 9 percent more dental visits, and 13 percent less emergency department visits, according to a new study. The Seattle-based researchers also found no appreciable difference in mean expenditures between children with and without a medical home.
The researchers could not assess the quality of care received with the data source used in their study. However, they believe that if having a medical home can influence the receipt of high-value services such as preventive and dental care while preventing low-value semi-discretionary services such as emergency department use without significantly raising mean total expenditures, then the medical home model may provide good value. They examined data for 26,000 children on their access to a medical home from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) during 2005–2007. Whether children received care in a medical home was determined by the researchers' analyses of medical home-related survey items in the MEPS. This study was supported by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (T32 HS13853).
See "Health care use and expenditures associated with access to the medical home for children and youth" by Melissa A. Romaire, Ph.D., Janice F. Bell, Ph.D., and David C. Grossman, M.D., in Medical Care 50, pp. 262-269, 2012.