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Disparities in Self-reported Access to Patient-centered Medical Home Care for Children With Special Health Care Needs

Pérez Jolles, Mónica, PhD, MA*; Thomas, Kathleen C., PhD, MPH

doi: 10.1097/MLR.0000000000000978
Original Articles

Background: Efforts to transform primary care have been underway for over a decade. Yet, we lack understanding of the progress made in scaling up this care model nationwide and on whether patient-centered medical home (PCMH) has benefited every group of children with special health care needs (CSHCNs).

Objective: The main objective of this study was to examine variation in caregiver service experience concordant with PCMH care over time and by child characteristics.

Research Design: This was a cross-sectional pooled data analysis using the 2003–2012 Medical Expenditures Panel Survey data for CSHCNs, aged 5–17 years. Logistic regressions were implemented, accounting for child and parent sociodemographic, child’s health insurance, and contextual characteristics. PCMH concordant care and each component were constructed as binary variables and child functional impairment was measured with the Columbia Impairment Scale.

Results: Thirty-one percent of children reported medical home concordant care; comprehensive (83%) and compassionate (82%) care were most prevalent, and the least common were accessible care (59%) and patient-centered care (60%). PCMH concordant care significantly increased nationwide between 2003 and 2012, but disparities remained based on child needs and sociodemographic characteristics. Multivariate regressions showed variation across medical home components.

Conclusions: Despite increased parent perception of care that is concordant with medical home care over time, disparities remain among high-need CSHCNs. Future research may focus on better understanding how clinical settings tailor this care model, particularly on providing increased access and patient-centered care, to better serve children at the highest need.

*Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC

Presented as a poster presentation at the 9th Annual Conference on the Science of Dissemination and Implementation Conference, 2016, Washington, DC.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Reprints: Mónica Pérez Jolles, PhD, MA, Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, University of Southern California, 1150 South Olive Street, Suite 1421, Los Angeles, CA 90015. E-mail:

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