It is not a house, a building, or a home health care service. A medical home is a type of relationship with your child’s medical team. Even if your child’s doctor doesn’t follow a full medical home model, you can use the medical home concept to work more effectively with your child’s doctors.
In a medical home, one central contact coordinates care for your child with a disability or special health care needs. This central contact could be your child’s doctor or it could be a team that includes your child’s doctor, nurses, physician assistants, or other support staff. Different offices will work differently. But the goal is that everyone is on the same page and has your child and family’s best interests in mind. You are a key member of this team and you’ll be glad to know that it covers much more than health care needs.
The medical home team works with your child and family to make sure all medical and non-medical needs – including educational services, family support, and out-of-home care – are met. If you have other children who need emotional support, such as a sibling who could use a support group, ask your medical home for a referral. Most medical homes can put you in touch with social workers or other community organizations that can help connect you to what you need. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) believes every child deserves a medical home and that a child’s medical home should be:
You and your family are at the center of the medical home model. Here are some reasons you might want to consider a medical home for your child, whether that means finding one or asking your child’s doctor to be a stronger partner:
Some family practice doctors or pediatricians might not be familiar with the medical home model of care. They might not know the benefits of a medical home or that they can be reimbursed for some of the expenses of creating a medical home practice. There are some websites below where you can learn more about medical homes and how to talk to your child’s doctor about finding one for your child and family. You can also visit our How to Talk to Your Doctor page.