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Children with special health care needs (CSHCN) are defined as those who have a chronic physical, developmental, behavioral, or emotional condition, and who also experience consequences due to their condition, such as above-routine use of health and related services or limitations in activities compared to other children.

Additional indicators related to children with special health care needs, including data on demographics, the impact of conditions on children and their families, health insurance coverage, and access to health care and other services, can be found at Most data in this topic come from the National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs and the National Survey of Children’s Health, which are available only at the state and national level. The surveys are conducted via phone interviews with parents.

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Drawn from a scan of all 50 U.S. states, this brief published by the National Academy for State Health Policy highlights strategies designed to address inequities in accessing pediatric specialty care and support equitable systems of care for CYSHCN.

A new article in the Journal of Pediatric Health Care from the Institute for Patient- and Family-Centered Care and Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center discusses best practices for supporting diverse membership in children's hospital patient and family advisory councils and advancing the involvement of patient and family advisors in hospital-wide diversity, equity, and inclusion projects and initiatives.