Health homes coordinate medical, behavioral, and dental service systems through a variety of approaches including full integration, co-location, shared financing, virtual linkages and facilitated referral and follow-up. Such health homes are an important approach for helping to ensure that children and their families, particularly those who are low-income, have access to comprehensive health care services, including dental care.
Policymakers are placing greater focus on health homes in an effort to improve health outcomes, lower health care costs and improve health care quality. More than 30 states have initiated efforts to advance such homes through improvements to Medicaid and CHIP. Additionally, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) includes key provisions to support further development and implementation of such homes at the state and local levels.
This issue of TRENDNOTES discusses the overall importance of a patient-centered health home that includes medical, dental and mental health care to improving children’s health and explores key considerations related to integrating dental care with medical care. Additionally, it discusses federal opportunities, particularly those under ACA, to promoting a health home for children and their families.