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For Teens Only Venturing out into the Adult World
For Teens Only Venturing out into the Adult World
As you approach adulthood, you will need to incorporate all the needs of
ongoing medical care activities. This section outlines the most common tasks
in that process.
A. Identifying an adult care provider.
Not all conditions require a specialist for care as an adult. Several
conditions come to a steady state after growth is completed, so that an
internal medicine physician can care for your medical needs. Be sure to ask
your Children's Mercy physician what your long term health needs are.
Selecting an adult care provider does not have to be a scary process.
Here are some helpful hints:
  • Find out from family, friends and neighbors what providers are in your area. What have their experiences been?
  • What providers are contracted with your insurance company? They have done a lot of investigation to find out what providers offer.
  • Use the question list in the forms section to interview new potential providers. You can call and talk to someone in the office, or bring the list along to your first appointment. Take notes for your reference. Make sure that concerns or issues are discussed at the beginning. This will help prevent any unpleasant surprises later.
B. Getting your (medical) records straight.
When you are ready to go see your new providers, they will need to have
copies of your past medical history. Many of their decisions will be based
on what's happened in the past.
We encourage teens and parents to keep track of this information all along the way. It is likely though, that your new doctor will need some specific information from your Children's Mercy medical team. To get that information sent to your new doctor, here's what to do:
-Send a written release of information to Children's Mercy Hospital and Clinics to
the attention of the Medical Records department. There is a sample in the forms section or you can get from your Children's Mercy provider.
-Remember that once you are 18 years old, you need to sign for your own
-The release of information form must have the name, address, and phone number of your new physician so that they can send the records directly.
-Indicate on the form that this release of information is for transfer of ongoing
C. School and work choices
Having a chronic condition can obviously influence your further school and
work choices. Here are some questions to help evaluate your choices.
What will I do after leaving high school?
What are my life goals?
Where to find employment and training services, if needed?
What about getting around - transportation?
What kinds of accommodations and technology do I need?
What will I do for income?
What would the physical requirements of my role/position be?
What type of insurance coverage is offered? Are there any exclusions or
waiting periods?
What community agencies/ programs are available to assist me?
Where will I live?
How close is the nearest hospital? Are they able to handle the type of
care I would likely need? What type of emergency transportation is
What do I want from my social life, hobbies, leisure time, and
There are many resources available to help you sort out these questions. Your
parents, doctors and nurses, social workers, teachers, guidance counselors, and community organizations can all help you.
D. Processes for getting medications and medical equipment
By now hopefully you have learned all your medications, what they do, and why
you need them. Continuing to take your medications is a major factor in staying
Make sure that you understand how to get your prescriptions (new and refills)
from your doctor, how to get them filled at the pharmacy, and what to do when
you're running low.
Find out who and when to call to replace equipment and supplies. What do you
do if your equipment quits working?
Each provider and insurance plan varies, so be sure to ask in detail. Medication
and equipment costs need to be considered when figuring your living
E. Ongoing insurance coverage
Most teens have insurance coverage either through their parents or a state
agency such as Medicaid. These programs all have age limitations, depending
on work status and physical status.
Talk with your social worker or case manager to explore other coverage
options. Public Insurance/ Services such as EPSDT, SCHIP, Medicaid Home &
Community Based Waivers, Medicaid & Section 301, Medicaid Buy-in, Medicare,
Medicaid & Medicare/Dual Eligibles, Medicaid & Medicare While Working are
options to explore.

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