More Progress Needed in Providing PCMH Care for Kids with Special Needs Children with special healthcare needs are those with "a diagnosis of mental illness and/or the presence of a chronic physical or developmental condition that requires a higher use and range of health services compared to the general population." A national survey estimated that about 15 percent of children have special healthcare needs, and that 23 percent of US families have at least one child with special needs.
Because of their complex needs for healthcare and other services, these children are at risk for fragmented care or duplication of services. The PCMH approach - focused on delivering care that is accessible, family-centered, coordinated, comprehensive, culturally competent, compassionate, and high-quality - is an important part of efforts to improve outcomes for children with special healthcare needs.
In 2002, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a statement endorsing the PCMH approach for children with special healthcare needs, stating that "every child deserves a medical home." Drs. Pérez-Jolles and Thomas write, "This study sought to elucidate how much progress have we made on that promise."