A number of aspects of high-quality health care for children are combined into the concept of the medical home. As defined by the American Academy of Pediatrics, children’s medical care should be accessible, family-centered, continuous, comprehensive, coordinated, compassionate, and culturally effective. The survey included several questions that sought to measure whether a child’s health care met this standard:
- Whether the child has at least one personal doctor or nurse who knows him or her well and a usual source of sick care
- Whether the child has no problems gaining referrals to specialty care and access to therapies or other services or equipment
- Whether the family is very satisfied with the level of communication among their child’s doctors and other programs
- Whether the family usually or always gets sufficient help coordinating care when needed and receives effective care coordination
- Whether the child’s doctors usually or always spend enough time with the family, listen carefully to their concerns, are sensitive to their values and customs, provide any information they need, and make the family feel like a partner in their child’s care
- Whether an interpreter is usually or always available when needed.
A child was defined as having a medical home if his or her care is reported to meet all of these criteria.
Among children aged 2-17 years without emotional, behavioral, or developmental conditions, the care of 58.5 percent of children met this standard. Of children in the same age group with emotional, behavioral, or developmental conditions, 40.2 percent received care through a medical home. For children with one condition, this proportion was 44.1 percent; for children with two conditions, 39.9 percent, and for those with three or more conditions, 27.1 percent.