Children with special health care needs (CSHCN) often require extended and continuous contact with health care professionals due to their chronic conditions. Additionally, some of these children have other non-health burdens, including multiple problems with access to care, that make it even more difficult to treat their medical illness. These extra obstacles illustrate that effective care for CSHCN requires proper care coordination among a network of doctors, nurses, and care coordinators. Unfortunately, care coordination has been inadequate due to large caseload assignments. An automated acuity tool that reassesses the child’s acuity (low, medium or high) regularly would help balance the caseloads and improve care coordination. Unique to this design, the tool would not only describe disease needs, but also account for modifiable psychosocial characteristics. It would first be deployed in South Florida where the population of CSHCN mainly consists of low-income, minority back- grounds with language barriers. The implementation of an acuity tool provides a thoughtful way to tackle the new challenges within the established structure of pediatric care.



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