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Transitioning from a Pediatric to an Adult Health Care Provider

Health care transition teaches you how to take charge of yourself in stages. It is a big change, but we support you on your journey. We promise to take good care of you along the way. There are skills you will learn at each stage of the process. So, talk to us and ask questions.

Why do I need to change to an adult care provider?

A pediatric provider specializes in kids. As you get older, you should change to a provider who specializes in adults. Some doctors can take care of kids and adults, so ask your provider about your needs.

My pediatric provider knows all about me, how will a new adult provider know about me and my health?

Your medical records are sent to your adult provider. Your pediatric provider also includes a form that gives a “snapshot” of you. It also talks about your health care goals.

When do I need to transition my care?

We ask you to set a goal to finish the transition sometime after your 18th birthday.

As I begin to transition what are some of the questions I can ask?

You are a partner in your health care and have the right to ask for what you want. If you are not sure about what you want, talk with your health care team. Below are some sample questions that you and your parents can ask to get started:

  • If I am in a family practice clinic do I need to change providers?

  • Can you suggest an adult provider for me?

  • Can you help me with transition planning?

  • Do you have transition care plans that you use?

What do I need to know to get ready?

There are some legal changes that happen starting at ages 12, 14 and 18. Below are some of the changes that you may notice:

  • Your doctor may ask your parents to leave the room. This is so you can have a private and sometimes confidential talk with your doctor.

  • Your health insurance may change. This depends on whether you have insurance under your parents’ plan, or if you have your own insurance through Medicaid.

  • Legal rights for you and your parents change unless you take action. Ask your provider to learn more about these changes.

What skills do I need to be independent?

In health care setting – health care team members teach you about your health and skills to maintain your health.

  • Teen time alone in an office visit to ask questions and talk about concerns

  • Learn to manage prescription refills

  • Learn to schedule clinic visits

  • Learn to discuss health management plan

  • Create a written plan and timeline for your transition with your whole team

  • Check your progress

At home – your parents support and guide you as you learn about your health and skills to maintain your health.

  • Learn when and how to ask for help

  • Learn how to tell others about your health condition(s)

  • Name the medicines you take and why you take them

  • Talk about your medical history

  • Learn about your family’s medical histories

If you are a patient receiving care at UnityPoint – Meriter, Swedish American or a health system outside of UW Health, please use the phone numbers provided in your discharge instructions for any questions or concerns.