6 Success Factors for Pediatric Patient-Centered Medical Homes

The patient-centered medical home has become a popular and promising framework for improving care coordination, fostering preventative care, and generating better outcomes for patients, including children. 

The patient-centered medical home’s emphasis on regular screenings, comprehensive services, caregiver involvement, and expanded access may be especially useful for pediatric patients as they reach anticipated milestones – and increasingly, require support and coordinated care for managing chronic diseases.

For practices serving children, this may mean enhanced coordination with the local school district, a close partnership with child welfare organizations, or prioritizing health information exchange connections with the nearest pediatric medical center.While PCMH certification requires an assessment of how well a provider adheres to a relatively detailed list of process and workflow measures, it also gives participants some freedom to tailor their activities to their unique patient populations.

It may also mean engaging in slightly different population health management strategies than would be employed by a provider primarily serving Medicare patients. 

While population health management tends to focus on reducing the burdens of chronic diseases for the highest utilizers of services – typically elderly patients with very complex needs – pediatric PCMHs need to shift their gaze to the other end of the age spectrum.

In a literature review published in the American Journal of Managed Care this month, researchers from Texas A&M University’s School of Public Health and Texas Children’s Pediatrics in Houston suggest that the first step for creating a successful pediatric patient-centered medical home relies on stratifying patients according to similarities in health status, special needs, and chronic disease burden.

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