The Pediatric Patient-Centered Medical Home: Innovative models for improving behavioral health

Am Psychol. 2017 Jan;72(1):13-27. doi: 10.1037/a0040411.


This article examines the concept of the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) as it applies to children and adolescents, emphasizing care for behavioral health conditions, the role of psychology and psychological science, and next steps for developing evidence-informed models for the Pediatric-PCMH. The PCMH concept for pediatric populations offers unique opportunities for psychological science to inform and enhance the transformation of the United States health care system and improve health in our nation. Available evidence on the outcomes of PCMH implementation for pediatric populations is limited, underscoring the need for additional research evaluating Pediatric-PCMH models and concepts. While behavioral health has only recently been emphasized as a formal part of the PCMH, accumulating evidence supports the effectiveness of some approaches for providing behavioral health care through pediatric primary care. These approaches suggest that a comprehensive Pediatric-PCMH model that includes behavioral health care has the potential to optimize the availability, quality, benefits, and cost-effectiveness of behavioral health services. This could ultimately enhance youth health and behavioral health, with effects potentially extending through the adult years. Rigorous research and demonstration projects are needed to guide further development of optimal strategies for improving health and behavioral health in pediatric populations and advancing the public health impact of behavioral health care services. (PsycINFO Database Record

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Patient Care Team*
  • Patient-Centered Care*
  • Pediatrics*
  • Primary Health Care*
  • Psychology, Clinical
  • Quality of Health Care