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Research shows that when children with special health care needs (CSHCN) receive their care in a medical home they have better access to services, improved quality of care, and reduced health care costs. Yet only a small percentage of children receive such care.

A newly released study asked California pediatricians about their experience and willingness to care for children with special health care needs, and about systemic changes that would facilitate their future participation in medical homes for these children.

The study involved focus groups and individual interviews with 39 key informants; 28 of the 39 were pediatricians and the remaining 11 were parents, nurses, and other experts in the care of children with special health care needs.

“Time”—for visits, for administration, for care coordination—emerged as one of the key barriers to providing quality care. Reimbursement rates for primary care pediatricians were also noted as an issue, along with the need for funds for care coordination, as well as the gap between primary care pediatricians and specialists.

This report summarizes the interview results, which were part of a two-phase study. See also Survey: Quantifying Pediatricians’ Views on Caring for Children with Special Health Care Needs

Related: An abstract in Academic Pediatrics: Pediatricians’ Comfort Level in Caring for Children with Special Health Care Needs