Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Cheaper Care for Special Needs Children


In the late 1960s, The American Academy of Pediatrics came up with the medical home model in an attempt to improve care for special needs children. Families with special needs children have found the medical home model to be cheaper than treating their children with individual treatments on their own.

The Health Resources and Services Administration and Centers for Disease Prevention surveyed 31,808 participants of the National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs. The survey showed that “families spent an average of $317 a year in out-of-pocket expenses to care for a special needs child on public insurance” as compared to only $215 if the children received care in a patient-centered medical home.

Families with private insurance paid an average of $1,298 a year pursuing services independently, but families only paid $1,088 if the child received care in a medical home. Additionally, the medical homes meet the children’s needs faster and more consistently than the alternative. The savings and improved care are attributed to the care coordination component of these patient care models. More homes are trying to become a patient-centered medical home because of the financial savings and the consistency of care.

Victoria Stagg Elliot, Medical Homes Reduce Out-of-Pocket Costs for Special Needs Children, amednews.com, Oct. 20, 2011.

Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (WealthCounsel) for bringing this article to my attention. 



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