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PA Medical Home Initiative

Service Description

The Pennsylvania Medical Home Initiative (MHI) is a project of the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.  MHI has used the Educating Practices in Community model since 2002 to foster a medical home approach to primary care.


Primary care practices with a medical home approach enhance the quality of life for children and youth, including those with special health care needs.  MHI's mission is to enhance the quality of life for children, youth, and young adults, including those with special health care needs.  MHI accomplishes this mission by increasing access to medical home primary care, especially in under-served regions of the state and by including patients and family members/caregivers in decision making and by providing technical assistance to primary care practices.  Parent Partners alongside primary care professionals make services more patient-friendly.  Parent Partners also provide support to family members/caregivers whose children's care is creating difficulties.

This mission is consistent with the Title V Block Grant National Performance Measure 11, which measures progress toward: "The percent of children with and without special health care needs having a medical home." 

Why is a Medical Home Approach Important?

Primary care practices who build the seven principles of a medical home into their work provide better care for children, youth, and young adults.  Health professionals and families work together as partners to identify and arrange all services needed to help children and youth, including those with special health care needs, reach their potential.  A medical home primary care practice stands for seven principles.

  1. Care Coordination - the primary care professional helps the patient and family access other health professionals and community resources
  2. Patient-Centered - the patient's wishes are of highest importance; the primary care professional always checks in with patients and their family members about options for care
  3. Comprehensive - the primary care professional takes into account the patient's physical health, emotional health, mental health, behavioral health, and oral health
  4. Continuous - the child receives care from the same primary care professional whenever possible
  5. Compassionate - the focus is on patient well-being and comfort
  6. Culturally Effective - primary care professionals find ways to serve patients of all backgrounds, including those who speak little or no English
  7. Accessible - the primary care practice accepts new patients, is available when patients need care, makes every effort to offer same-day scheduling, moves toward full accessibility and provides communication options such as an online patient portal

The MHI website has additional information and a Tumblr link to the Blog for Transitioning Into Adulthood.

MHI Accomplishments:

  • In May 2017 MHI gathered input from people all over the state who care about medical home.  They recommended a variety of activities to fulfill MHI's Mission. 
  • As of June 2017, over 174 primary care practices have adopted the medical home principles.  
  • These practices served over 900,000 children and youth, including over 153,000 with special health care needs.
  • Over 200 Parent Partners support primary care practices and their patients.
  • Data collection efforts have demonstrated a favorable impact of the medical home on health care utilization (fewer emergency department visits and fewer hospitalizations), and increased family satisfaction and quality of life for children and their families.

Who to Contact:

For more information contact the Bureau of Family Health, Division of Community Systems Development and Outreach at 717-772-2763.