What is a Medical Home?

The medical home is the organizational setting that integrates preventive services, acute illness management, and chronic condition management. An effective medical home seeks to identify the broad spectrum of a child and family's needs at a given point in time (including preventive care and psychosocial items), as well as to anticipate and design care to address future needs.

The medical home coordinates among agencies and services in the child's community (termed "horizontal coordination") and within the health care system ("vertical coordination") to address current health needs. It also provides continuity over time to address future health needs; care in a medical home spans childhood through adolescence and facilitates a smooth transition to adult services. The medical home fosters competence in patients and families as its key strategy to achieve positive results.