What is a Medical Home?
A medical home is not a building, house, or hospital. It is a way of providing high quality primary health care for children within their community. A medical home is a partnership between families caring for children and youth and the primary health care providers they trust. Primary health care providers may include pediatricians, family practitioners, and pediatric nurse practitioners. In this partnership, families and primary health care providers work together to identify and access all of the medical and non-medical services needed to help children and their families reach their greatest potential.
The Office for Genetics and People with Special Health Care Needs (OGPSHN) believes effective promotion of health and health services for children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN) requires a system of care that is integrated, comprehensive, coordinated, family centered and consistent across the life course (or lifespan). We believe the Medical Home will provide this type of care.
The OGPSHCN Medical Home Program educates families, health care providers, local health departments, and service providers about the components of a medical home. For CYSHCN, one of the needs cited by parents is better collaboration between primary care providers and specialists caring for their children. The Medical Home Program establishes partnerships to educate primary care providers about caring for CYSHCN including creating a collaborative care agreement that delineates the roles of primary care providers and the specialist caring for a CYSHCN.
A medical home is especially important for children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN) and their families. Due to complex conditions and multiple needs, these children and families may require help finding resources, setting priorities, and coordinating care with a variety of providers.
The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, the National Maternal and Child Health Bureau, and Family Voices all endorse the medical home.
Current legislation in Maryland that speaks to Medical Home was introduced as House Bill 929 in February 2010 and signed into law by Governor O’Malley in April 2010. The law gives the Maryland Health Care Commission (MHCC) the authority to establish a Medical Home Program; institute a state definition of the medical home; adopt a set of standards and practices for the program, including payment methodologies and performance measures; and evaluate the program over three years to identify best practices. To learn more about the MHCC Patient Centered Medical Home Program, please visit http://mhcc.maryland.gov/pcmh/