Quality Health Care for Homeless Children: Achieving the AAP Recommendations for Care of Homeless Children and Youth
Background. We assessed whether and how health care organizations serving homeless pediatric patients meet recommendations issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Methods. We conducted a web-based survey of Health Care for the Homeless (HCH) Program grantees serving children. Results. Of 169 grantees, 77 (46%) responded. All organizations reported connecting patients to specialty services. Nearly all reported screening for homelessness (90%), facilitating Medicaid enrollment (90%), connecting patients to benefits (94%), addressing underlying causes of homelessness (83%), assisting with transportation (83%), and knowing about the causes of homelessness (76%). Fewer reported integrating comprehensive care into acute visits (61%) or having medical-legal partnerships (57%). Federally qualified health center status was associated with meeting more recommendations. We described barriers and facilitators to meeting recommendations. Discussion. Health care organizations serving homeless children largely meet AAP recommendations, but integrating comprehensive care into acute visits remains an area for improvement. Disseminating best practices may support guideline adherence.