How Well Is the Medical Home Working for Latino and Black Children?

Published in: Maternal and Child Health Journal [Epub November 2017]. doi: 10.1007/s10995-017-2389-6

Posted on RAND.org on December 14, 2017

by Alma D. Guerrero, Xinkai Zhou, Paul J. Chung

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Objective

To examine the benefits of having a medical home among Latino and Black school-aged children, both with and without special health care needs (CSHCN).

Methods

Data from the 2011-2012 National Survey of Children's Health (NSCH) were analyzed to examine the associations of preventive dental and medical care, unmet dental or medical care, or missed school days with having a medical home among Latino and Black children compared to White children. Multivariate logistic regression with survey weights was used to adjust for child, parent, home, and geographic characteristics and an interaction term to estimate differences in outcomes among Black or Latino children receiving care in a medical home compared to White children with a medical home.

Results

Approximately 35% of Latino CSHCN and Latino non-CSHCN ages 6-17 years of age had a medical home. In the adjusted model comparing the effectiveness of the medical home by race and ethnicity, Latino non-CSHCN compared to White non-CSHCN were associated with lower odds of having one or more preventive dental visit in the last 12 months (OR 0.66; 95% CI 0.46-0.95) and no other associations between having a medical home and outcomes were found among Latinos compared to Whites regardless of non-CSHCN or CHSCN status. Meanwhile, having a medical home among Black non-CHSCN and CHSCN, compared to their White counterparts, showed potential benefits in regards to unmet medical care needs after adjusting for covariates, (OR 0.15; 95% CI 0.06-0.35; OR 0.16; 95% CI 0.05-0.55).

Conclusions

Medical homes may not be effective in delivering health services to the majority of Latino children but provide some benefit to Black children with and without CSHCN. Alternatively, the medical home may function differently for Latinos due to the specific medical home components measured by NSCH.

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