The American Academy of Pediatrics has established access to high-quality health care through a medical home with appropriate reimbursement to the pediatrician as its top priority. One of our primary objectives in pursuing that goal is to “develop a plan and begin work to remove the financial impediments to implementation and dissemination of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ operational definition of Medical Home.” This supplement to Pediatrics is a strong step in that direction. We need not only the vision of the medical home but also the demonstration of practical tools and methods that have proved successful in overcoming recognized barriers to providing care that is accessible, family centered, comprehensive, continuous, coordinated, compassionate, and culturally effective. The articles that follow provide us with both.
The concept of a medical home is imbedded in many national initiatives, including Healthy People 2010 and the President’s New Freedom Initiative, that aim to improve the system of care for children with special health care needs. These national initiatives call for the development of community-based health care systems that are comprehensive, of high quality, and organized in a manner that allows families easy access. The first step in realizing this vision for improved health care systems is to work together with national, state, and community partners to create access to medical homes for all children.
Many of us have labored hard to secure access to health insurance for all children, and, when that goal becomes a reality, the medical home will continue to play a central role in the delivery of child health care. It is my hope that we can use the ideas in this supplement to improve that care. Although there is a focus on children with special health care needs, the reality is that all children will be better served through the medical home, and when we all adopt these principles, the result will be a better quality of health care for all children.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is indebted to pioneers such as Calvin Sia, MD, FAAP; Merle McPherson, MD, FAAP; and the late Vince Hutchins, MD, FAAP, who have struggled to bring the concept of the medical home to the consciousness of American pediatricians. Long before the actual term emerged, we understood the concept and recognized its value to child health. Now, this supplement to Pediatrics provides us all with an enlarged vision of the medical home as well as with a better idea about what is needed to truly establish it. I heartily commend all those who collaborated to bring it to us.
- Copyright © 2004 by the American Academy of Pediatrics