The Health and Well-Being of Children in Rural Areas: A Portrait of the Nation 2005
Home The Child The Child's Family The Child and Family's Neighborhood Order
Overall Child Health Status  |  Children with Moderate or Severe Health Conditions
Breastfeeding  |  Children with Moderate or Severe Socio-Emotional Difficulties  |  Impact of Socio-Emotional Difficulties
Overweight  |  Injury  |  Parents' Concerns  |  Current Health Insurance  |  Coverage Consistency  |  Preventive Health Care Visits
Preventive Dental Visits  |  Medical Home  |  Staying Home Alone  |  Repeating a Grade  |  Regular Physical Activity

Medical Home

A number of the characteristics of high-quality health care for children can be combined into the concept of the medical home. As defined by the American Academy of Pediatrics, children’s medical care should be accessible, family-centered, continuous, comprehensive, coordinated, compassionate, and culturally effective.1 The NSCH included several questions that sought to measure whether a child’s health care met this standard:

  • Whether the child has at least one personal doctor or nurse who knows him or her well;
  • Whether this personal doctor or nurse usually or always spends enough time with the family, explains things so the parent can understand, and provides interpreter services when needed;
  • Whether this personal doctor or nurse usually or always provides telephone advice or urgent care when the child needs it;
  • Whether the child has little or no problem gaining access to specialty care, services, and/or equipment when it is needed;
  • Whether the personal doctor or nurse followed up by talking with the family about the child’s specialist visit and/or use of special services or equipment; and
  • Whether the child had a preventive visit in the past year. A child was defined as having a medical home if he or she had at least one preventive visit in the past year, had little or no problem with access to specialty care, and reported having a personal doctor or nurse who usually or always spent enough time and communicated clearly with families, provided telephone advice or urgent care when needed, and followed up with the family after the child’s specialty care visits.

Overall, 46.1 percent of children receive care that meets this standard. Children living in urban areas are slightly more likely to have a medical home than children in other locations: the urban rate is 46.4 percent, compared to 44.7 percent in large rural and 45.2 percent in small rural areas.

1 American Academy of Pediatrics, Medical Home Initiatives for Children with Special Needs Project Advisory Committee. The medical home. Pediatrics 2002;110(1):184-86.

Graph: Percent of children with a medical home, by location




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This chartbook is based on data from the National Survey of Children's Health. Suggested citation: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau. The National Survey of Children's Health 2003. Rockville, Maryland: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2005.