Every Child Deserves a Medical Home

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Our medical home is a place where they know my story, they listen to my son, and they respect us. They help us get services that go beyond medicine. They talk to us. -- Judie Walker, whose 18-year old son has cerebral palsy and asthma.

The Medical Home section explains:

  • what makes up a medical home.
  • where families and providers can find helpful information to create or improve a medical home.
  • ways that Texas is making it easier to have a medical home.

What is a Medical Home?

A medical home is not a place like a clinic or a hospital.

A medical home is a partnership between a child, the child's family, and the place where the child gets primary health care. At a medical home, the child's family and health care experts are a team. They work together to find and get all the services the child and family need, even if they are not medical services.

In other words, "medical home" is a name for a special kind of health care.

What is special about the medical home?

The medical home is health care that is: 


  • provides health care in the community at times that best serve the community’s families;
  • accepts Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Children with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN) Services Program, and private insurance.


  • sees the family as the expert in their child's care;
  • offers a safe place for families and professionals to discuss health care issues as partners.


  • ensures that a child sees the same doctor over time;
  • provides help with the transition to adult or specialty care.


  • provides a full range of care:
    • preventative;
    • primary;
    • specialized care.
  • works together with specialists and other service providers;
  • shares information about insurance and other resources with the family.


  • doctor, family, and child develop a plan of care as a team;
  • offers support and links to schools and community-based services.


  • shows concern for child and family.

Culturally competent

  • acknowledges and respects every family's cultural and religious beliefs.

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Joint Principles

The key elements of the medical home are based on recognized standards of child and adolescent health care. They are documented in policies and best practice guidelines by recognized professional organizations, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).

A more thorough definition from these and other professional organizations includes the physician-patient relationship, quality of health care, infrastructure, and payment system that will result from ongoing, comprehensive, cost-efficient, and effective health services.

On November 10, 2008, the American Medical Association (AMA) voted to adopt the "Joint Principles of the Patient-Centered Medical Home," joining the American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Physicians and the American Osteopathic Association in endorsing the principles.

Click here to download the Joint Principles of the Patient-Centered Medical Home - March 2007 (40K PDF)

Talking Points

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has finalized a draft of “Medical Home Talking Points”. The document summarizes key medical home activities.

Click here to download the Medical Home Talking Points- March 2008 (40K Word)

email CSHCN Services Program

Last updated March 29, 2016