CSHCN Medical Home

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What is a Medical Home?

A medical home is not a building – it is a family-centered approach to comprehensive care that is a partnership between a child, the child’s family and the child’s primary health care setting. Through this partnership, a family works with health care experts to find and access the medical and non-medical services that the child needs.

Receiving care through a medical home can improve a child’s health and make life easier for the child’s family. A medical home care team can include doctors and nurses, therapists, dentists, pharmacists, community health workers, school staff, friends, neighbors and anyone else who cares for your child.

Components of a Medical Home

  • Accessible – services are provided within the child’s and family’s community and someone is able to help the child 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Family-Centered Care – the family is recognized as the expert in the child’s care and is a valued member of the care team who contributes to decision making.
  • Continuous Care – the child is able to see the same pediatric health care professionals over time and are supported during the transition to adulthood.
  • Comprehensive Care – the child’s care includes check-ups and preventative care, primary care and specialty care. The child and family are connected to support and education opportunities.
  • Coordinated Care – the child’s care team works with multiple providers and the family to develop a plan of care, book appointments, handle referrals and provide access to resources in the community.
  • Compassionate Care – the medical home care team are genuinely concerned about the overall wellbeing of the child and family
  • Culturally Competent Care – services are delivered in the child’s and family’s preferred language and the care team respects the family’s cultural and religious beliefs.  

Joint Principles of the Patient-Centered Medical Home

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.  

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.

Medical Home Brochures

The Maternal & Child Health Section developed brochures to help families and providers understand the importance of the medical home model. To order brochures, please contact phsucontractors@dshs.texas.gov.

Free Continuing Education (CE) Courses

Texas Health Steps’ award-winning online education program offers free CE courses for primary care providers and other health professionals. These courses offer updated clinical, regulatory and best practice guidelines for a range of preventative health, oral health, mental health and case management topics, including medical home.

Additional Medical Home Resources

External links to other sites are intended to be informational and do not have the endorsement of the Texas Department of State Health Services.  For more information about Children with Special Health Care Needs, Title V Maternal and Child Health or information regarding maternal and child health in Texas, please email TitleV@dshs.texas.gov or call (512) 776-7373.

Last updated January 17, 2018