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Special Health Care Needs

The Kansas Special Health Care Needs (SHCN) Program promotes the functional skills of persons, who have or are at risk for a disability or chronic disease. The program is responsible for the planning, development, and promotion of the parameters and quality of specialty health care in Kansas in accordance with state and federal funding and direction.

SHCN provides specialized medical services to infants, children and youth up to age 21 who have eligible medical conditions. Additionally, the program provides services to persons of all ages with metabolic or genetic conditions screened through the Newborn Screening.

Services may include diagnostic evaluations, treatment services or care coordination and must be prior authorized. Click here for more information about services.

SHCN County Map


Diagnostic Services are limited to a one-time evaluation without regard to family income, for Kansas youth under the age of 21 years. Prior authorization is required and may be obtained by phone or letter from program staff. Consultations must be scheduled with SHCN contracted specialty providers. Second opinions are not covered. The application process must be completed if medically eligible before additional services will be authorized.

Holistic Care Coordination Service is a partnership with clients and their families to assist them in navigating the systems of care to achieve their optimal health. Care Coordinators partner with clients and their families in finding, understanding and accessing the services and resources on a medical, educational, community and personal level to make sure they are receiving the services needed. Everyone has individual needs and requires services and supports tailored to meet those needs, so in partnership with clients, we work to identify their individual needs and wants. We develop an Action Plan to help achieve their goals, while providing the level of support they would like. Our goal at the KS-SHCN program is to empower clients to feel confident in navigating services and supports, while having a consistent person available for assistance, support, and understanding. This program is offered FREE to any individual and their family who have a special health care need or disability who qualify for the KS-SHCN program. This is a voluntary program and all individuals have the option of opting in or out at any time.

Direct Assistance Programs (DAPs) are available for eligible clients to choose from to meet their individual needs. Clients can choose up to two DAP's per qualifying year. Care Coordinators explain the different DAPs to clients and will assist them with their selections, if needed. There are currently nine DAP options to chose from: click here for more information. DAP overview chart in (English) & (Spanish)

What part of the cost does SHCN pay?
Services must be prior approved before any cost-sharing can be determined. SHCN is the payer after insurance and Medicaid.

Special Bequest
The Special Bequest Fund allows for specific request for financial support of medical equipment, specialized care, education or other needed items that can improve health status, function, or quality of life for those with special health care needs who meet SHCN eligibility requirements. All requests are subject to Special Bequest Commissioner approval. The Special Bequest request form can be submitted online.

System Navigation Training For Families are provided at locations across the state to help individuals and families learn how to navigate the systems of care. This is a FREE one-day training offered to all families who have a loved one with a special health care need. Trainings are limited to a maximum of 25 participants and conducted by individuals who also have children with special needs. Topics covered during this these trainings include: Insurance, medical services, self-care, communicating with providers, Shared Plans of Care, transition, education, waivers, resources, etc. If you would like to participate in a training or request one be conducted in your area, please call 785-296-1312.