Understanding a care coordination framework, its functions, and its effects on children and families is critical for patients and families themselves, as well as for pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists/surgical specialists, and anyone providing services to children and families. Care coordination is an essential element of a transformed American health care delivery system that emphasizes optimal quality and cost outcomes, addresses family-centered care, and calls for partnership across various settings and communities. High-quality, cost-effective health care requires that the delivery system include elements for the provision of services supporting the coordination of care across settings and professionals. This requirement of supporting coordination of care is generally true for health systems providing care for all children and youth but especially for those with special health care needs. At the foundation of an efficient and effective system of care delivery is the patient-/family-centered medical home. From its inception, the medical home has had care coordination as a core element. In general, optimal outcomes for children and youth, especially those with special health care needs, require interfacing among multiple care systems and individuals, including the following: medical, social, and behavioral professionals; the educational system; payers; medical equipment providers; home care agencies; advocacy groups; needed supportive therapies/services; and families. Coordination of care across settings permits an integration of services that is centered on the comprehensive needs of the patient and family, leading to decreased health care costs, reduction in fragmented care, and improvement in the patient/family experience of care.
Keywords: PFCMH; care coordination; family-centered care; medical home; patient-/family-centered medical home; patient-centered care.
Copyright © 2014 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.