Our Patient-Centered Medical Home & You: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Patients and Families
What is a Patient-Centered Medical Home?
A Medical Home is all about you and your family. Caring about a family’s infants, children, teens and young adults is the most important job of The Pediatric Center as a Patient Centered Medical Home. In this personal model of health care, the primary care provider leads a team of health care professionals that collectively take responsibility for your family members under our care. They provide the care needed in wellness and illness to heal the body, mind and spirit. As a pediatric practice, often it is the parent or other adult managing health and wellness issues with the Medical Home team, as our patients mature they take an increasing role in that management. Teenagers are entitled to certain confidential services (see our Teen Privacy handout) and participate in decision-making. After the age of 18 years, patients are legally able to make all healthcare decisions but involvement of the family is typically welcome and encouraged, with the patient’s permission.
Your personal provider and an extended team of health professionals build a relationship in which they know you, your family situation, each patient, the medical history and health issues. In turn, you come to trust and rely on them for expert, evidence-based health care answers that are suited entirely to you or to your family.
How will a Medical Home lead to better care?
There are many benefits to being in a Medical Home:
- Comprehensive care means your medical home helps address any health issue from infancy to young adulthood
- Coordination of care occurs when any combination of services you and your provider decide are needed, they are connected and ordered in a rational way, including the use of resources in your community
- Continuous care occurs over time and you can expect continuity in accurate, effective and timely communication from any member of your health care team.
- Accessible care allows you to initiate the interaction you need for any health issue with a physician or other team member through your desired method (office visit, phone call, or electronically) and you can expect the elimination of barriers to the access of care and instructions on obtaining care during and after hours.
- Proactive care ensures you and your provider will build a care plan to address health care goals to maintain and promote wellness and be available for illness.
- Evidence-based care means that the care team keeps up to date with the latest medical research and clinical practice guidelines, and will work to personalize care to fit the preferences and the goals of the patient and family.
- Quality is very important to our mission at The Pediatric Center. We frequently conduct studies to improve the quality of care we deliver and to reduce disparities and gaps in care we may find. Here are some links to Quality Improvement efforts we have undertaken in the past:
Who is my Medical Home Team?
Your team may include a doctor, nurse practitioner, registered nurse, medical assistant or health educator, as well as other health professionals. These professionals work together to help you get healthy, stay healthy, and get the care and services that are right for you. When needed, your personal doctor arranges for appropriate care with qualified specialists.
What does my Medical Home Team do?
The Medical Home team is your team. They provide you with the care you need, when you need it and customize your care to meet your needs and expectations. We help you set appropriate health goals and work with you to meet them. We will spend enough time with you to ensure you understand what you need to do to successfully meet your goals and answer any questions you might have. We help you understand all your options for care so you can decide what care is best for you. And we will always treat you with the respect you deserve as a full partner in your healthcare.
What type of services does my Medical Home provide?
We provide comprehensive, compassionate and continuous care for infants, children, teenagers, and young adults.
- Same day appointments
- Preventive care and physicals (health risk assessments, sports, and school physicals)
- Chronic disease management (such as diabetes, asthma and more)
- Acute care for illness and injuries
- Well child visits, screening, and vaccinations
- 24×7 phone access to your care team
- Online electronic access to your medical records
- Referrals to vetted specialists and mental health providers
- Management of multi-specialty care plans including mental health
Will my Medical Home help me take care of myself?
The care you receive in a Medical Home goes beyond the office visit with your personal clinician.
- We want to make sure you develop a clear idea of how to manage any care.
- We want to help you set goals for care and help you meet goals one step at a time
- We want you to fully participate in recommended preventive screenings and services
- We will recommend tools and education materials you can use to improve and manage health issues.
- We will give you information about classes, support groups, or other types of services to help you learn more about your condition and stay healthy
- We will provide you with information about resources in your community to help you manage your and your child’s health and wellbeing
- We will provide you with resources and, if needed, appropriate referrals to behavioral health specialists to address mental health conditions for you and family members
How can my Medical Home help if I need to see specialists or go to a hospital?
Your medical home team will coordinate your care with all other health care providers. They will recommend quality specialists for you and your family member and will work with the specialist and the hospital to continuously plan and manage care.
With your consent, your medical home team will inform specialists and hospitals about any medical conditions, any preferences and goals and will follow up to obtain information after the specialty visit or hospital stay. We will also follow up with you or the patient to make sure you get the care you need and that you understand your plan of care.
Can my Medical Home help in an emergency?
If you have a medical emergency, please dial 9-1-1.
For other clinical problems or medical advice, call you’re the Pediatric Center first. Depending on the nature of the problem, we may be able to save you an expensive and inconvenient trip to the emergency room for problems best addressed by your personal primary care provider. You can reach a Medical Home team member via telephone 24×7 (just call our main number, if the office is closed, press “1” and wait for the Service to answer) and same-day appointments and walk-in appointments are available.
If you do go to the emergency room, please make sure you let the staff know who your primary care provider is and ask that they contact us as soon as possible so we can help them take better care of our patient.
What can I do to help my Medical Home team take better care of me or my child?
You are encouraged to actively participate in your care.
- Understand that you are a full partner in your own health care
- Learn about your condition and what you can do to stay as healthy as possible
- As best you can, follow the care plan that you and your medical team have agreed is important for your health
Do your best to communicate with your Medical Home team
- Tell us all about your health, your medical history and the health history of your family
- Bring a list of questions to each appointment. Also, bring a list of any medicines, vitamins, or remedies you use.
- If you don’t understand something the doctor or other members of the medical home team says, ask them to explain it in a different way
- If you get care from other health professionals, always tell your medical home team so they can help coordinate for the best care possible
- Talk openly with your care team about your experience in getting care from the medical home so they can keep making your care better.
How do I access my Medical Home?
We offer convenient same-day and next-day appointments, after-hours phone access and extended hours—early mornings, evenings and Saturdays.
|Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday|
|Business Hours||9:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Walk-in:||8:00 AM – 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM|
|Late Appts :||5:20 PM – 6:20 PM|
|Business Hours||9:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Walk-in||4:00 PM – 5:00 PM ONLY|
|Late Appts||5:20 PM – 6:20 PM|
|Business Hours||9:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Walk-in||8:00 AM – 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM|
|Same Day/Sick||9:00 AM – 1:00 PM|
To make an appointment, call (203)327-1055 or request on through our Patient Portal on our website www.thepediatriccenterofstamford.com. To register for our portal ask one of our front staff for an email invitation.
For clinical advice and all other matters, please call (203)327-1055. We respond in a timely manner to your phone calls.
For all urgent matters, please contact us by phone. Electronic messages sent through the Patient Portal are for NON-Urgent matters only. For all non-urgent matters, general information, billing questions, prescription refills and to make an appointment, please call us during normal business hours or send a message through the portal.
How do I transfer my records to my Medical Home?
We will need your consent to obtain your medical records from your previous primary care provider or from specialists you have seen in the past. Consent forms are available in your new patient package and online on our website at www.thepediatriccenterofstamford.com .
You can also call our front desk during business hours if you have any questions regarding transferring records in or out of the practice, or ask our transition coordinator Sue Gerardi for assistance on the phone or when you visit with us.
Can I be in a Medical Home if I don’t have health insurance?
We accept many insurance plans, Husky and self-pay patients. Call us to discuss your particular situation. Once you become a patient in our practice, we provide you with the same access and care regardless of your health insurance status.
Beginning January 1st, 2014 most people will be required by law to have health insurance. Depending on your financial situation, you may be eligible for government subsidies to buy private health insurance, or you may be eligible to enroll in Medicaid.
To check eligibility and or enroll in health insurance or CT Medicaid/Husky programs visit: www.accesshealthct.com or call: 1-855-805-4325.