NORFOLK -- With more than 190,000 children in Virginia who have special health care needs, Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters was selected to establish the Care Connection for Children for Hampton Roads, one of six statewide, and coordinate the health care and community support services for the approximately 52,000 children with special health care needs in the Hampton Roads, Peninsula, Western Tidewater and Eastern Shore public health districts.

Tip 1: What is Care Connection?
Like the name implies, the program provides case management and care coordination services with independent, private specialists and practitioners regardless of a family's income. Plus, it provides a 'pool of funds' for uninsured and underinsured children with special health care needs.
CHKD Care Connection for Children pulls together case managers, medical personnel, educators and family members to determine how children with special health care needs - those with chronic physical disorders that are expected to last for at least 12 months - can reach their maximum potential.
Among the children served are those with long-term hearing, craniofacial, urologic, rheumatologic, orthopedic and neurologic disorders and conditions like diabetes, cystic fibrosis and spina bifida.

Tip 2: What services are available for these children and their families?
The availability of specific specialty care varies slightly from region to region, depending on the needs of the children and the medical specialists in the child's community. Each Care Connection for Children center strives to provide services that are family-centered, culturally sensitive, community-based, coordinated, collaborative and outcome-oriented.
In general, children and families can expect these services:
o Access to medical specialty care.
o Ongoing help in coordinating specialty care and accessing services.
o Assistance with obtaining health insurance.
o Help in understanding and using health insurance benefits.
o Information about and referral to community resources , disaster and emergency planning
o Help communicating with schools, payers, providers and community services.
o Help determining eligibility for access to a 'pool of funds' to pay for those services, such as medical equipment, specialty physician visits and medications not covered by a child's insurance.

Tip 3: Who is eligible and how can parents get more information?
Care Connection for Children serves those children with physical disorders that are expected to last for at least 12 months and result in one of the following:
A need for medical or related services beyond those normally expected for the child's age, or a need for ongoing treatments, interventions or accommodations at home or school.
A limitation in functions, activities or social roles when compared with healthy peers.
A dependence on medications, special diets, medical technologies, assistive devices or personal assistance.
All Virginia's special needs children under age 21 are eligible for care coordination services from Care Connection for Children regional programs. Financial assistance may be available to children who meet medical and income requirements.

For more information, call (757) 668-7132 or go to the CHKD Care Connection Webpage.

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