Majority of U.S. Children Have a Medical Home
Socioeconomic, racial or ethnic, and health-related disparities seen in children with medical homes
MONDAY, March 14 (HealthDay News) -- More than 50 percent of children in the United States have access to all components of health care in a pediatric medical home, but there are substantial socioeconomic, racial or ethnic, and health-related disparities, according to a study published online March 14 in Pediatrics.
Bonnie B. Strickland, Ph.D., from the Health Resources and Services Administration in Rockville, Md., and colleagues analyzed data from the 2007 National Survey of Children's Health to study the characteristics of 83,448 children aged 1 to 17 years with medical homes and the impact of these homes on selected health care outcomes. A medical home measure was based on five components: having a usual source of care, a personal physician or nurse, access to referrals for specialty care and care coordination, as necessary, and receiving family-centered care.
The investigators found that, in 2007, 56.9 percent of U.S. children were cared for in medical homes. Younger children were more likely to receive this care than their older counterparts. Children with medical homes were more likely to have annual preventive medical visits and less likely to have unmet medical and dental needs. There were socioeconomic, racial or ethnic, and health-related disparities between children who did and did not have access to medical homes.
"Overall, slightly more than half of U.S. children receive their care in medical homes," the authors write. "Given the presence of socioeconomic, racial/ethnic, and health disparities in receipt of care in medical homes, targeted initiatives addressing disadvantaged segments of the child population are needed."