Medicaid-Insured Children Treated in “Medical Homes” Use Emergency Department Less Often, According to AHRQ Study
Children covered by Medicaid who receive care in practices that have implemented a patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model may have fewer non-urgent and avoidable visits to emergency departments (EDs), a recent AHRQ-funded study found. PCMHs have been promoted as a way to improve the quality of primary care and result in more efficient use of health care services. To test the model’s benefits, researchers analyzed the relationship between “medical homeness,” or availability of PCMH attributes at the practice level, and non-urgent ED use by children newborn to 18 years old enrolled in Medicaid for 12 months. The study included more than 90,000 children from 64 primary care practices in Illinois, North Carolina and South Carolina that were participating in the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act Quality Demonstration Grant Program. Although medical homeness was not associated with improved access to well-child visits, higher levels of PCMH attributes were associated with lower rates of non-urgent and avoidable ED use by publicly insured children in Illinois. Researchers concluded that additional studies using multiple measures of medical homeness are needed to confirm this observation. The study andabstract were published online in the May-June issue of the journalAcademic Pediatrics.
Acad Pediatr. 2015 May-Jun;15(3):267-74. doi: 10.1016/j.acap.2014.12.001.
Associations between practice-reported medical homeness and health care utilization among publicly insured children.
Copyright © 2015 Academic Pediatric Association. All rights reserved.
child health services; health care quality, access, and evaluation; medical home; patient-centered care; primary health care
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