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PA Medical Home Initiative

Service Description

The Medical Home Initiative (MHI) is a project of the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.  The MHI fosters a medical home approach to primary care.


Primary care practices with a medical home approach have been shown to improve outcomes for patients.  The MHI's mission is to enhance the quality of life for children, youth, and young adults, including those with special health care needs. 

Program Description

The MHI accomplishes its mission by:

  1. increasing access to medical home primary care, especially in under-served regions of the state
  2. including patients/family members/caregivers in decision-making
  3. 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 hardships.

Why is a Medical Home Approach Important?

Primary care practices that 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 the services needed to help patients reach their potential.  Medical home primary care practices are built upon seven principles:

  1. Care coordination - the primary care professionals help patients and families access other health professionals and community resources
  2. Patient-centered - the patient's wishes are of highest importance; the health professional always checks with patients and those close to them 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 patient 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 Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics website has additional information and a Tumblr link to the Blog for Transitioning into Adulthood

MHI Accomplishments

  • As of June 2019, over 186 pediatric and family medicine practices have adopted the medical home approach to primary care.  
  • In 2018 these practices served over 917,000 children, youth, and young adults, including over 156,000 with special health care needs.
  • 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.  Data have also demonstrated better lung functioning in patients with asthma, increased family satisfaction, and improved quality of life for children.

Who to Contact

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