Medical Home: Family Centered-Care

One important aspect of the medical home is whether or not children receive care that is “family-centered;” that is, whether parents report that their children’s doctors usually or always spend enough time with them, listen carefully to their concerns, are sensitive to their values and customs, provide needed information, and make the family feel like a partner in their child’s care. Together, these measures of family-centered care provide an important picture of how comfortable families feel with their children’s medical care. Overall, of the children who had at least one medical visit in the past year, two-thirds (66.6 percent) were reported to have received care that was family centered. This proportion did not vary significantly by location.

In all locations, uninsured children were least likely to receive family-centered care, followed by those with public insurance. Children with private insurance were most likely to receive family-centered care. Among uninsured children, those in urban areas were least likely to receive family-centered care: 35.0 percent of urban children did so, compared to more than 45 percent of those in both large and small rural areas. Similarly, among children with public insurance, those in urban areas were less likely to receive family-centered care than their rural peers (55.7 versus approximately 62 percent, respectively).

On most of the individual questions that make up the family-centered care measure, the parents of more than 80 percent of children reported that their child’s provider usually or always met the standard. The only exception was whether the provider spent enough time with the family, a criterion that was met for 77.5 percent of urban children, 78.6 percent of children in small rural areas, and 79.6 percent of children in large rural areas. Responses to the individual questions generally did not vary significantly by location, except that children in large rural areas were slightly more likely than their urban peers to have doctors that are sensitive to their values and customs, who make the family feel like a partner in their care, and who spend enough time with the family.

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