Rhode Island’s Pediatric Practice Enhancement Project (PPEP) trains and places parent consultants into pediatric primary and specialty care practices to help families with children and youth with special health care needs coordinate and access the health system, as well as other services (e.g., social services, education, housing). Parent consultants, who are parents of special needs children themselves, assist physicians in providing comprehensive, coordinated medical homes to about 8 percent of children with special needs in the state (more than 2,800). A PPEP database, managed by the state’s Department of Health, helps identify systemwide barriers facing families. A recent evaluation suggests that PPEP participants have more outpatient encounters but fewer inpatient admissions and less intensive resource use than children with special needs who are not in PPEP practices.
This study was based on publicly available information and self-reported data provided by the case study institution(s). The aim of Commonwealth Fund–sponsored case studies of this type is to identify institutions that have achieved results indicating high performance in a particular area of interest, have undertaken innovations designed to reach higher performance, or exemplify attributes that can foster high performance. The studies are intended to enable other institutions to draw lessons from the studied institutions' experience that will be helpful in their own efforts to become high performers. Even the best-performing organizations may fall short in some areas or make mistakes—emphasizing the need for systematic approaches to improve quality and prevent harm to patients and staff. The Commonwealth Fund is not an accreditor of health care organizations or systems, and the inclusion of an institution in the Fund's case study series is not an endorsement by the Fund for receipt of health care from the institution.