About the Medical Home Portal

The Medical Home Portal

The Portal’s Vision: All children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN) and their families achieve the best possible outcomes for their health, well-being, and success
The Portal’s Mission: To assist and support professionals and families in working together (the Medical Home model) to care and advocate for CYSHCN by providing reliable and useful information about their conditions and caring for them and knowledge of valuable local and national services and resources
The Portal’s Long-Range Goal: To improve outcomes for CYSHCN and their families by enhancing the availability and quality of healthcare, related services, and coordination of care
About the Portal
The premises behind the Portal's development include:
  • Most chronic conditions are uncommon or rare - for many diagnoses, primary care physicians are likely to have only one, or a few, patients
  • The cumulative prevalence of chronic conditions, however, is substantial - 15.1% of children meet criteria for classification as children with special health care needs (CSHCN) (see Prevalence of CSHCN (HRSA/MCHB) and the Diagnosis Prevalence List)
  • Maintaining sufficient current knowledge of medical information and community resources to provide high quality primary care for each of these conditions is impossible
  • Families of CSHCN desire more information about raising a child with special health care needs, about their condition(s), and about how to manage their care and navigate the health care system
  • Families are motivated and may have more time than clinicians to devote to learning about their child's condition and to finding resources
  • Families will soon learn to understand relatively technical language and will be better able to understand and communicate with professionals when they do
  • Numerous other professionals (therapists, dentists, care coordinators, educators, pediatric and adult subspecialists, etc.) could also benefit from information about various aspects of caring for CSHCN
  • Physicians and Families sharing information and working together as partners in the Medical Home model will improve outcomes for CSHCN
The Medical Home Portal serves CSHCN by addressing the information and resource access needs of physicians, other healthcare professionals, educators, families and patients.

The Portal currently (September 2016) contains
  • over 500 pages of content and resources,
  • over 5000 links to other reliable and valuable websites or downloadable information,
  • over 2900 citations of scientific and other expert literature to provide users with the evidence behind recommendations or to explore topics in greater depth
  • Information on services for CSHCN and their families: more than 4000 in Utah, 3300 in Idaho, 2700 in New Mexico, and 750 in Montana
Though originally developed in and for Utah, the Portal was reprogrammed, with support from a National Library of Medicine grant (1 G08 LM007680-01A2), to enable sharing its content with other states and regions around the country. This makes it possible to substitute other states’/regions’ local services data so that they will be integrated into the content and available for browsing/searching. We are very interested in hearing from states or regions that would like to partner with us to offer this service for their families and professionals. Please click the Contact button to let us know of your interest.

How to Use the Medical Home Portal

The Guide to the Portal can help you learn more about the Portal and how to navigate it.
We've also created a series of very short videos showing how to use sections and features of the Medical Home Portal. The How To Use the Medical Home Portal video series is posted on the Portal's YouTube channel.

(Short) History of the Medical Home Portal

Development of the Medical Home Portal began as part of a Medical Home implementation project in 2001 and as a response to a 1998 survey of pediatricians in Utah that identified the top three needs to enable them to improve their care of children with chronic conditions to be:
  • better knowledge of local resources for their care,
  • practice-based case managers to link families and resources, and
  • best practice guidelines for common chronic conditions in children.
In response, our Utah chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics published a resource booklet and found much of the data was soon outdated. We then decided that a web-based information resource would be the best way to address the first and third needs.

Start-up funding was provided by the Primary Children's Hospital Foundation, which allowed us to hire student programmers and begin creating the Portal. The University of Utah's Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library provided a home for the programmer as well as staff who were expert in developing web-based resources to support medical education. Project leadership and medical expertise have been provided by the University's Department of Pediatrics and the Utah Department of Health (UDOH). In 2003, the UDOH's Division of Community and Family Health Services supported the project, enabling us to hire a full-time programmer and to make substantial progress toward becoming a well-designed and useful resource.

In 2006, we received the above-mentioned grant from the National Library of Medicine, and we partnered with Oklahoma (University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Department of Pediatrics) and the Heartland Regional Genetics and Newborn Screening Collaborative. In 2009, the funding was extended with a supplemental grant that was part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

In February 2010, the Portal began 5 years of support as a key component of the Children’s Healthcare Improvement Collaboration (CHIC) based in the Utah and Idaho Medicaid and CHIP programs and funded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) through a Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA) Quality Demonstrations grant, #1Z0C30547-01-00 (2/2010-2/2015).
In February 2015, the Portal unveiled a completely redesigned site aimed to make its content easier to read and navigate on any device and to make its resources easier to find. The Portal’s partners include Utah, Idaho, New Mexico, Montana and Rhode Island and it is working with Nevada to include that state’s services also. The Portal is serving as the “shared resource” for Utah under the Utah Enhanced System for CYSHCN, a project of the Utah Bureau of Children with Special Health Care Needs funded by the State Implementation Grants for Enhancing the System of Services for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs through Systems Integration (D70MC275500100) from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)/Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB).


The Portal maintains a searchable database of service providers (organizations, companies, or individual providers, physical or virtual, with whom/which a personal interaction is involved) that have been identified by Portal staff or partner organizations as useful for CYSHCN in their state. The database also contains many links to websites of interest, tools for clinicians, citations and helpful articles, and more. Below you’ll find the Portal’s policies on selecting entries to include in our database.

Disclaimers, Privacy and Copyright

The Medical Home Portal is a service of the University of Utah and exists for educational purposes only. See the University of Utah’s site for more detailed information about Privacy Policies and Disclaimers. The Medical Home Portal Development Team does not provide information for or about the medical conditions of individual patients. The Portal supports partnerships between patients and their primary care providers. The information on the Portal does not replace or substitute for talking with your provider. Consult with your provider before starting, changing, or stopping any treatments or medications.
The Medical Home Portal does not collect or store medical or personal information from users. However, user tracking information (network address, pages visited, time on pages, etc.) is collected for site improvement and grant reporting purposes. Information is collected using Google Analytics and server logs. Cookies may be placed on a user’s computer, e.g. upon selecting a state in the “Choose services by state” box to enable the Portal to automatically display services and links from the user’s chosen state the next time they return to the Portal. Users can choose a setting on their browser to deny cookies or disable them. Users may voluntarily choose to complete surveys posted occasionally on the site. The Feedback page allows users the option to enter an email address and/or name to allow responses to user-entered questions or input.
The Medical Home Portal is a program of the University of Utah Department of Pediatrics, which retains all copyrights for materials published on the Portal. Portal content is covered under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic License. Content on the Portal may be used by you and others for non-commercial purposes with appropriate attribution. This license prohibits individuals from altering, transforming, or building upon published Portal content without first obtaining permission from the Portal. To allow authors to use content they develop for other purposes, a waiver of this prohibition will be provided to authors upon request.

Advertising and Funding

The Medical Home Portal does not host or receive funding from advertising or from the display of commercial content. Commercial organizations or products may be mentioned as examples only and do not constitute an endorsement or recommendation. Professional or commercial organizations that offer services for CSHCN may submit information for local/state service listings or links through the Feedback page.
The Portal’s content is written by volunteer physician experts, staff physician authors and editors, and by consumer/parent representatives contracted through Utah Family Voices, all of whom deny financial conflicts of interest. Content is also reviewed by our editors for potential conflicts prior to publication.
The Medical Home Portal receives grants and other funding from charitable foundations, business organizations, and local, state, and federal government organizations. Current funding sources are listed on the Our Supporters & Partners page.


Author: Chuck Norlin, MD - 6/2009
Content Last Updated: 1/2015