Nonemergency acute care: When it's not the medical home

Gregory P. Conners, Susan J. Kressly, James M. Perrin, Julia E. Richerson, Usha M. Sankrithi, Natalie E Lane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) affirms that the optimal location for children to receive care for acute, nonemergency health concerns is the medical home. The medical home is characterized by the AAP as a care model that "must be accessible, family centered, continuous, comprehensive, coordinated, compassionate, and culturally effective." However, some children and families use acute care services outside the medical home because there is a perceived or real benefit related to accessibility, convenience, or cost of care. Examples of such acute care entities include urgent care facilities, retail-based clinics, and commercial telemedicine services. Children deserve high-quality, appropriate, and safe acute care services wherever they access the health care system, with timely and complete communication with the medical home, to ensure coordinated and continuous care. Treatment of children under established, new, and evolving practice arrangements in acute care entities should adhere to the core principles of continuity of care and communication, best practices within a defined scope of services, pediatric-trained staff, safe transitions of care, and continuous improvement. In support of the medical home, the AAP urges stakeholders, including payers, to avoid any incentives (eg, reduced copays) that encourage visits to external entities for acute issues as a preference over the medical home.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere20170629
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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