The medical home likely has a positive effect on outpatient outcomes for children with asthma. However, no information is available regarding the impact of medical home quality on health care utilization after hospitalizations. We sought to explore the relationship between medical home quality and readmission risk in children hospitalized for asthma exacerbations.
We enrolled 601 children, aged 1 to 16 years, hospitalized for an acute asthma exacerbation at a single pediatric facility that captures >85% of all asthma admissions in an 8-county area. Caregivers completed the Parent’s Perception of Primary Care (P3C), a Likert-based, validated survey. The P3C yields a total score of medical home quality and 6 subscale scores assessing continuity, access, contextual knowledge, comprehensiveness, communication, and coordination. Asthma readmission events were prospectively collected via billing data. Hazards of readmission were calculated by using Cox proportional hazards adjusting for chronic asthma severity and key measures of socioeconomic status.
Overall P3C score was not associated with readmission. Among the subscale comparisons, only children with lowest access had a statistically increased readmission risk compared with children with the best access. Subgroup analysis revealed that children with private insurance and good access had the lowest rates of readmission within a year compared with other combinations of insurance and access.
Among measured aspects of medical home in a cohort of hospitalized children with asthma, having poor access to a medical home was the only measure associated with increased readmission. Improving physician access for children with asthma may lower hospital readmission.