Ensuring that all children have a “medical home” is a national child health care reform priority. Among Hartford children enrolled in HUSKY A (Medicaid managed care) in 2005, 40% did not have access to a primary care site – i.e., they did not get most of their office or clinic visits from a single provider. Among children who had any primary care, 74 percent had evidence of access to a primary care site. Children who had access to a primary care site were more likely to use emergency care for ambulatory care sensitive conditions than children without access to a primary care site.
A primary care site is not necessarily a medical home. Even children who receive regular care from a single provider may not receive care that is truly comprehensive, family centered, coordinated, compassionate, and culturally effective.