Patient-Centered Medical Home Model: Do School-Based Health Centers Fit the Model?
School-based health centers (SBHCs) are an important component of health care reform. The SBHC model of care offers accessible, continuous, comprehensive, family-centered, coordinated, and compassionate care to infants, children, and adolescents. These same elements comprise the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model of care being promoted by the Affordable Care Act with the hope of lowering health care costs by rewarding clinicians for primary care services. PCMH survey tools have been developed to help payers determine whether a clinician/site serves as a PCMH. Our concern is that current survey tools will be unable to capture how a SBHC may provide a medical home and therefore be denied needed funding. This article describes how SBHCs might meet the requirements of one PCMH tool. SBHC stakeholders need to advocate for the creation or modification of existing survey tools that allow the unique characteristics of SBHCs to qualify as PCMHs.