Talk with your teen about making the change from pediatric to adult-oriented health care providers. Include your teen in the process. Do the planning together.
Talk with your teen's primary care provider (PCP) and specialty providers about making the transition to adult-oriented care. Some providers, like a family doctor or specialist, may care for a person throughout their lifespan. Other providers, like pediatricians, care for children and adolescents only. Depending on your teen's medical team, transition could mean changing providers and/or health care settings.
If your teen will need to change providers, think about when would be a good time to make the change. Try not to do this in the middle of other big changes in your teen's life or your own. Also, it may be easier to change your teen's providers one at a time, rather than all at once.
Contact your teen's health insurance plan and ask about changing health care providers.
Get recommendations for new PCP and specialty providers from current PCP and specialty providers, if needed. You and your teen should meet with new providers before you say goodbye to the pediatric team.
Make a special request to your teen's current health care providers to contact the new providers to discuss your teen's special health care needs.
Continue to encourage your teen to take more responsibility for his or her health and health care. Talk to your child about other health issues that come up at this time, such as:
Healthy eating and body image
Relationships and sexuality
Smoking, alcohol, and drug use
Tip: When setting up the first appointment to meet with a new health care provider, ask for a "consultation" appointment. This will allow you to meet and learn more about the new provider. Remember to tell the receptionist to schedule extra time for the appointment. Bring this resource manual and a list of questions.
This information is provided by the Division for Children & Youth with Special Health Needs within the Department of Public Health.