​This page provides information on the most frequently asked questions related to pediatric medical home implementation and about the National Center for Medical Home Implementation.

 General Questions about the Medical Home Model

What is a medical home?

  • A medical home is not a building, house, hospital, or home healthcare service, but rather an approach to providing comprehensive primary care.
  • In a medical home, the pediatric care team works in partnership with a child and a child's family to assure that all of the medical and non-medical needs of the patient are met.
  • Through this partnership, the pediatric care team helps the family and patient access, coordinate, and understand their child's care.
  • A medical home helps families and patients to connect with specialty care, educational services, out-of-home care, family support, and other public and private community services that are important for the health of the child and family.

What is the family-centered care component of the medical home?
Family-centered care is a partnership between families and health care professionals. It involves a respectful relationship between the family and clinician that honors the following:

  • Strengths
  • Cultures
  • Traditions
  • Expertise that everyone brings to the table

Family-centered care is an integral component of the medical home approach to care. Research suggests that family-centered care improves the following:

  • The patient and family experience with health care
  • Reduces Stress
  • Improves communication
  • Reduces conflict (including lawsuits)
  • Improves the health of children with chronic health conditions

What evidence is there that shows providing care within a medical home model helps to save money?
Evidence indicates the medical home model of care improves quality, which in turn lends towards cost savings and improved health outcomes across the system of care. Evidence also supports other benefits such as decreased emergency department visits and increased provider and patient satisfaction.  View the National Center for Medical Home Implementation listing of medical home evidence and results for more information.

Medical home demonstration and/or pilot projects are currently underway in most states; they are often sponsored by private payers and/or Medicaid as a way to 'test' if the medical home model improves health outcomes while saving money. Not all projects include pediatric practices, but some do. To find out more about demonstration projects, visit the National Center for Medical Home Implementation state and national initiatives Web page.

 General Questions about the National Center for Medical Home Implementation

What is the National Center for Medical Home Implementation?
The National Center for Medical Home Implementation (National Center) is a cooperative agreement between the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

The goal of the National Center is to ensure that all children and youth, including children with special needs, have a medical home where health care services are:

  • Accessible
  • Family-Centered
  • Continuous
  • Comprehensive
  • Coordinated
  • Compassionate
  • Culturally Competent

View the National Center overview Web page to find out more about National Center leadership, resources, and technical assistance services.

Who does the National Center for Medical Home Implementation serve?
The National Center serves a wide audience consisting of the following:

  • Pediatric clinicians and health professionals
  • Pediatric practice staff and administrators
  • Education professionals
  • State Title V programs (directors and staff)
  • Maternal and child health related agencies and foundations
  • Public health professionals
  • Public policy professionals
  • Federal and state grantees
  • Family members and advocates
  • Communities and community members
  • Caregivers
  • Children and youth

What services does the National Center for Medical Home Implementation provide?

  • General Technical Assistance: The National Center provides response(s) to technical assistance requests received via online interest forms, emails, and phone calls.
  • In-Person or Virtual Technical Assistance Presentations: The National Center conducts informational presentations about resources and tools available through the Center.

Find out more information about National Center technical assistance.

What type of technical assistance does the National Center for Medical Home Implementation provide?
Technical assistance provided by the National Center ensures that pediatric medical home stakeholders have the information, support, resources, and tools they need to understand and implement the medical home model of care. Specific technical assistance requests received by the National Center include the following:

  • General background about the medical home model of care
  • Information and assistance with starting the medical home implementation process
  • Tools and resources related to specific components of the medical home (e.g., family-centered care, care coordination, cultural competency).
  • Information about medical home recognition and accreditation programs
  • Assistance with planning of regional, state, hospital, or other medical home conferences or meetings
  • Connecting a practice or clinician with others who have undergone the medical home transformation process
  • State-specific family-centered medical home programs and initiatives

Find out more information about National Center technical assistance and support.

 Questions about National Center for Medical Home Implementation Tools and Resources

What training and educational opportunities does the National Center for Medical Home Implementation offer?
The National Center has resources for a broad audience including the following:

  • Webinars: An annual webinar series provides information and resources on specific components of the pediatric medical home model with a focus on implementation.

Which National Center resources are relevant to pediatric clinicians?

Which National Center resources are relevant to families/caregivers?

Which National Center resources are particularly relevant to public health and policy professionals?

 My practice is interested in implementing the medical home model. Where do we start?

If you are interested in implementing the pediatric medical home in your practice, visit the Building Your Medical Home: An Introduction to Pediatric Primary Care Transformation online resource guide. The guide provides an overview of the transformation process—how to start, how to implement key functions of a medical home, and how to sustain changes.

If you have specific technical assistance needs related to implementing medical home in practice, contact the National Center for Medical Home Implementation.

 What is medical home recognition and/or accreditation?

Several programs exist that recognize and/or accredit health care organizations as medical homes, according to specific sets of standards. The National Center for Medical Home Implementation does not endorse or support any one medical home recognition/certification program. A health care organization's selection of which program to pursue should be based on what best fits its needs.

There are many reasons why health care organizations choose to apply for recognition/certification, such as enhanced payment. Before beginning the recognition/certification process, health care organizations should consider their organization's capacity (staffing, resources, and time). Obtain more information about national recognition/accreditation programs here.

A practice does not need to be recognized and/or accredited as a medical home in order to provide care based on the core tenants of the medical home. The Joint Principles for Patient-Centered Medical Home—created by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American College of Physicians, and the American Osteopathic Association—outline guidelines for a medical home.

 I am a parent of a child with special health care needs. Can you help me find more information on my child’s medical condition?

The National Center for Medical Home Implementation does not have practicing pediatricians on staff to respond to parent requests regarding individual medical conditions or questions about American Academy of Pediatrics policy statements. The best resource for this information is a child's primary care clinician.

If your child does not have a primary care clinician, search the HealthyChildren.org "Find a Pediatrician or Pediatric Specialist" database, or contact the physician referral service at your local hospital or county medical society.

 Where can I find a medical home?

The National Center for Medical Home Implementation (National Center) does not make referrals to families for a medical home, nor does the National Center recognize, certify, or accredit practices as medical homes. The National Center does, however, track information on projects and initiatives related to medical home that occur in states, which can be found on the National Center state pages.

To find a listing of practices in your state that have achieved recognition and/or accreditation, visit the Web site of that particular recognition/accreditation program.

For example, the National Committee for Quality Assurance, allows visitors to search for practices by state that have obtained Patient-Centered Medical Home recognition.

 Are there any resources that can help me promote and explain medical home to patients and families?

The National Center for Medical Home Implementation offers a large number of resources which explain medical home for patients and families in the "For Families" and the "Communicating the Medical Home" pages of the Web site.

 Are there any medical home materials and resources in Spanish?

The National Center for Medical Home Implementation offers Spanish and English resources in the Building Your Medical Home online resource guide and throughout its Web site. Information for parents and others is also available in English and Spanish on HealthyChildren.org.