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Care Coordination for Children with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN) Challenge

About the Challenge
Create an innovation to help with the care and coordination of children with special health care needs.

Posted By: Health Resources and Services Administration
Category: Ideas
Skill: Software/Apps Interest: Health Submission Dates: 9 a.m. ET, Aug 30, 2018 - 5 p.m. ET, Oct 30, 2018

Submissions for this challenge will be accepted on the Maternal and Child Health Bureau Grand Challenges site.

The Care Coordination for CSHCN Challenge will support the development and testing of low-cost, scalable, technology-based innovations to meet the needs of children with special health care needs (CSHCN) and their families. Innovations should improve the quality of care, enhance family engagement, and positively impact health care outcomes with the potential of saving costs to families, society, and to the health care system. CSHCN and their families are the primary stakeholders for all solutions proposed. In order to deliver improved outcomes for this stakeholder group, it is understood other stakeholders across the health care system, including providers and payers, should be involved. Solutions proposing to improve any or all aspects of the overall health care system, with the intent of driving better outcomes for children and families, will be preferred.

CSHCN have or are at risk for having a chronic physical, developmental, behavioral, or emotional condition and require health and related services beyond what a typical child needs. CSHCN account for approximately 20% of the US pediatric population. An estimated 0.5% are children with medical complexity, children with multiple chronic conditions who often require the care of a complex array of medical and other support.

For CSHCN, coordinated care by their care team, including family members, primary, specialty, and service providers, is essential to their health and well-being. However, communication and coordination across systems of care is often fragmented. Too often, family members of CSHCN serve the care coordinator role and assume full responsibility for aggregating and sharing health information across providers and settings. Families deserve complete, comprehensive, and easily accessible information about their children’s health and their care plan to ensure the best quality of care.

Health information technology (HIT) provides an opportunity to organize data from disparate sources into one cohesive patient-centered record that can effect optimal care coordination and planning for care team members across multiple systems and settings. HIT standards are available to support the bi-directional exchange of care plans and necessary health informatics for CSHCN. Despite this, most attempts to facilitate the electronic exchange of records and the sharing of right information in a timely manner among care team members have neither been scalable nor patient/family-centered.

Judging Criteria

Problem Identification and Significance

• How clearly and concisely does the proposal identify the problem and its significance to the target stakeholder group?
• How prevalent is the stated problem?
• How significant of a burden is the stated problem to the target stakeholder group?
• How costly is the problem to the target stakeholder group?
• How is this problem specific to the target stakeholder group, and therefore unlikely to be addressed by other initiatives targeting the general population?

Evidence-Base or Testing Method

• How well does the provided evidence and background information support the ideas for the proposed solution?
• How well does the proposal describe plans to collect evidence, test and validate the impact of the proposed solution in real world settings across stakeholder groups?


• How compelling is the case for innovation and interoperability? Does the solution use nationally recognized health IT standards to integrate with other technology (e.g., Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) certification standards) in its functions?
• How likely is the proposed solution to succeed when other ideas to address similar problems have not?
• Is the solution designed and developed using human centered design principles? Does the design support sustained use of the technology by the target stakeholder group?


• How well does the proposal describe the target stakeholder group?
• Is the solution designed with CSHCN and families as the primary stakeholders?
• How inclusive is the solution plan of other stakeholder and end-user groups with which the innovation would interface?
• Does the proposal have broad applicability (i.e., across conditions, populations, health IT environments/technologies/platforms)?
• Are the technical requirements of the proposed solution accessible (e.g., low-cost, plain language, device agnostic, etc.) to a broad range of socio-economically diverse populations?

Team Qualifications and Setting

• Does the team include the necessary administrative, clinical, technical, and design expertise to complete the proposed project? Are CSHCN and/or their families members of the team?
• How much input from the target stakeholder group and participatory design methods are included? Does the proposal include adequate input from the target stakeholder group and participatory design methods?
• Does the team have support and facilities to accomplish the proposed project?

Project Potential in Remaining Phases

• If the solution is a new or early-stage innovation, is the plan for later stages clearly described, and is it achievable given prize money and other available resources?
• How feasible is the proposal?

How to Enter

For any given CSHCN, create a family-centered technology solution that will enable all the care team members to work toward the same agreed upon treatment goals using the same information.

Proposal Elements

  • Proposals must address innovations for CSHCN in the United States.
  • Teams are expected to engage CSHCN and/or their families in the design and development process.
  • Your proposal should be written in English. Note: This does not preclude solutions from being offered in multiple languages.
  • A comprehensive description of the proposed innovation should include a narrative of up to five (5) pages and may include up to two (2) additional pages of appendices, totaling no more than seven (7) pages.
  • Your proposal should include the following:
    • Describe the problem in detail, how your solution addresses this problem specifying the mechanism of action, the target stakeholder group, the current stage of development, and how your solution improves the quality of care, enhances CSHCN and family experiences, and/or potentially saves costs;
    • Provide the evidence base to support your solution, or your plan to collect evidence throughout the challenge to support the viability and impact of your solution;
    • Describe how your solution is innovative;
    • Describe the technical, clinical, administrative, and financial requirements for full implementation of your solution;
    • Describe how your solution is accessible (e.g., low-cost, plain language, device agnostic, etc.) and scalable to multiple conditions and populations, including socio-economically diverse populations;
    • Describe your team and their qualifications; and
    • Describe how you will further develop/scale your solution in later stages of the challenge.
  • Your proposal may be submitted in PDF, Microsoft Word, or Text format.
  • Margins should be no less than 1/2 inch on each side.
  • OPTIONAL: You may provide the link to a video describing your concept. Videos can be up to three (3) minutes in length.

2 Discussions for "Care Coordination for Children with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN) Challenge"

  • Show Replies [+]
    Nina Baltimore-Johnson
    I want to help children in Faster Care to transition, to a independent person that my have special needs. So when its time for them to be on there own, they can have all the ADl's, working, education and communication skills. I've worked with foster kids that turned 19 and have no where to go or no training to survive and help, so they can be apart of the helping community. They are our future and we need them just like they need us, I feel so helpless and I feel like I'm not doing enought. I have been trying to get help and don't know where to start for the help with the improvement of the foster kid's moving to adult and independent people.

    • Reply
      Dear Ms. Baltimore- Johnson, Thank you for your comment. We appreciate your expressed concern about youth in foster care who may not have the resources and support to successfully transition to adulthood and independence. HRSA/MCHB works with a number of organizations focused on improving youth transition outcomes. One of the organizations is Got Transition, the national center on health care transition, You can contact the center’s co-director, Margaret McManus, MHS, at for information and assistance. We hope this information will be useful to you.

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