What is the Medical Home Approach?

The "medical home" is not a single person, place or building. It is an approach to health care for your child and your family.

The parts of the medical home approach are explained below:

  • Accessible care: Your health provider's office can accommodate any special physical needs your child may have. You can find a provider who is close to your home and can take different kinds of insurance. You can reach your provider in a number of ways-in person, by phone or maybe even by email.
  • Compassionate care: Your child's health providers try to understand your feelings and what you are going through.
  • Comprehensive care: Your child's health providers are well-trained to take care of children and families. Your provider is available to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week-this may mean in person or by phone.
  • Coordinated care: All the different health providers who care for your child talk to each other. This way, everyone knows about the plan for your child. Your health providers can connect you with community resources to help your child and family.
  • Continuous care: The same provider can take care of your child from birth until young adulthood. Your regular health provider can help with your child's care if your he or she has to be in the hospital.
  • Culturally effective care: Your providers consider your family's beliefs when making a plan for your child's care, and he or she communicates with you in a language you can understand.
  • Family-centered care: Your provider knows that you are the expert in caring for your child. You help the provider develop a plan to take care of your child.

When you build a home, there are many different parts. A home has doors, windows, a roof and furniture. The same is true with the medical home approach.

A medical home has many different parts. There are health providers who take care of your child, such as doctors, nurses, therapists and others. There are also insurance companies who help pay for your child's health care. The community is a big part of the medical home approach - places like schools and community agencies help children and families to be healthy. The most important part of the medical home is the child and family. Everyone works with the family to help meet its needs.

Only having a primary care provider (a pediatrician or a family doctor) doesn't mean you have a medical home. All of the parts in the system must work together.

Families have a part, too! The medical home has tasks just like any other home. Some of the tasks for families in a medical home are:

  • Share any questions with your child's primary care provider.
  • Tell your provider about your family's needs and main concerns.
  • Keep up with important information like shot records, test results and appointment times.
  • Work as a team with your child's providers to make a plan that meets your family's needs.