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Although children with special health care needs (CSHCN) fare better when they are cared for in a “medical home,” only a small percentage receive such care. A newly released survey queried California pediatricians about their experience in caring for CSHCN and their thoughts on system changes that would enhance their willingness to provide a medical home.

The respondents discussed a range of issues, including their comfort level in providing care for CSHCN and the most appropriate setting for the medical home. They also described difficulties in getting access to specialty care for their patients, and mentioned the cultural divide between specialists and general pediatricians. A major topic raised was the need for enhanced reimbursement for the extra time required to care for CSHCN. Respondents also highlighted the need for assistance in addressing the complex social issues faced by many of their patients’ families. The study includes policy recommendations.

This report summarizes the findings of the survey, which was part of a two-phase study. See also Challenges and Joys: Pediatricians Reflect 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