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Small physician practices that care for children unprepared to become medical homes
Date:3/7/2013

n comes with participation in medical home programs.

Data used in the study came from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, which is an annual sample of outpatient visits to randomly selected, nonfederally employed, office-based physicians in the United States. When the survey is conducted, participating physicians are asked about characteristics of their practice.

The investigators examined data from the 2007 & 2008 rounds of the survey. They connected practice characteristics asked about in the survey to the National Committee for Quality Assurance's (NCQA) Patient-Centered Medical Home standards, the most commonly used medical home recognition process around the U.S.

The investigators found that on average pediatrics and family medicine practices only met 38% of the NCQA medical home standards that could be measured in the survey. Smaller primary care practices scored 10 to 14 points lower on a 100-point scale when compared to medium and large practices.

The authors were originally concerned that practices might be at a disadvantage for becoming a medical home if they served larger numbers of children in public health insurance programs, who on average have higher medical needs, but they found no differences based on this or other characteristics of the practices.

"We hope that our study helps reinforce the importance of providing additional supports to small primary care practices in efforts to improve health care for children ," says Zickafoose, lead author of the study.


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Contact: Mary F. Masson
mfmasson@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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