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Little is known about the relationship between receiving primary care in a medical home and unplanned hospital readmissions and emergency department visits among children with special health care needs (CSHCN). A new study, published in the journal Pediatrics, sheds lights on this issue.


The research focused on whether children with primary care medical homes were less likely to have unplanned hospital readmissions in the 30 days after hospital discharge. The study also looked at the likelihood of emergency department visits in the 7 days following a hospital discharge. The authors analyzed data from more than 700 children hospitalized at one medical center in California.


They found that one component of a medical home—having a “usual source of sick and well care,”—was the best predictor of avoiding unplanned hospital readmissions.


The authors also found that readmission rates and emergency department visits were lower among children whose parents reported the most confidence in their child’s continuing good health.


Lead author Ryan Coller, MD, MPH, conducted the study with funding from a Young Investigator Award (YIA) through the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health. The YIA was established in 2011 to increase the number of academic pediatric faculty in California whose research focuses on the care of CSHCN and to increase attention to the care of CSHCN in pediatric training programs across the state. An advisory committee of state and national experts on the care of CSHCN guided the project and participated in the selection of awardees.


Read the journal article.


Also see: Having Consistent Source of Health Care Is Key Factor in Limiting Kids’ Repeat Visits to the Hospital