It is clear that reasons for patient visits to the pediatric office have changed over the past decade, and we can expect that trend to continue.

Some changes can be explained by the tremendous impact of vaccine-preventable illnesses, the increased recognition of mental health diagnoses among our patients, and the growing availability of alternative access to care, including retail-based clinics and independent telemedicine services. Many primary care pediatricians are concerned about the impact to pediatrics as well as the financial viability of their practices.

While change is inevitable, the pediatric medical home can survive and thrive, with appropriate focus. Finding innovative ways to be available to families and meet their needs, and proactively managing chronic diseases and mental health problems, are essential to success. However, the well visit is the cornerstone of pediatrics and a practice’s financial viability.

Over the last 10 years, the ratio of sick visits to well...

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