Introduction: Having a medical home is advocated by the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners and others, yet there is limited research that documents desired health benefits. We examine the presence of medical home characteristics and describe relationships between medical home and health services utilization in a national sample that includes children with asthma.
Method: Medical home is represented by: (a) the presence of a usual source of care (USC), (b) identification of a named person as USC, and (c) a 10-item index of other medical home characteristics. Health services utilization over a calendar year is measured by (a) emergency department visits for asthma, (b) wellness examination, and (c) rescue bronchodilator fill/refill. Analyses include chi-square and logistic regression.
Results: A USC was reported for 95% of participants. Children with a USC were more likely to have a wellness examination (odds ratio, 2.10; 95% confidence interval, 1.15-3.81). Overall, 51% reported the USC to be a facility versus a named person. Identifying a person as the USC was related to higher scores on the 10-item medical home index but not to other outcomes.
Discussion: Most parents were satisfied with the USC. Benefits of having a USC, but not necessarily a named person, appear in preventive actions.