Transitioning Youth from Pediatric to Adult Health Care

According to the “A Consensus Statement on Health Care Transitions for Young Adults With Special Health Care Needs” adopted by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the American College of Physicians –American Society of Internal Medicine, the goal of transition in health care for young adults with special health care needs is to “maximize lifelong functioning and potential through the provision of high-quality, developmentally appropriate health care services that continue uninterrupted as the individual moves from adolescence to adulthood.”

What are the first steps in supporting transitions for Children and Youth with Special health Care Needs (CYSHCN)?
  1. CYSHCN need a health care professional who partners with them and their family to coordinate their current health care needs and supports future health care planning that is uninterrupted, comprehensive, and accessible care within their community.
  2. Support training within healthcare systems to provide developmentally appropriate health care transitions to CYSHCN
  3. Provide and maintain a portable, accessible and comprehensive medical summary to support collaboration among health care professionals.
  4. Work with the adolescent and family beginning at age 14 to annually prepare a written health care transition plan by age 14 that includes identified service needs, health care professional resources, and provision of reimbursement for these services,
  5. Recognize that all adolescents and young adults should be supported in this transition to adult care and that CYSHCN may require more resources and services than do other young people to optimize their health.
  6. Support efforts to provide affordable, continuous health insurance coverage for all young people with special health care needs throughout adolescence and adulthood.
Current Assessment of Health Care Transition Activities

This is a qualitative self-assessment method that allows individual providers, practices, or networks to determine the level of health care transition support currently available to youth and young adults transitioning from pediatric to adult health care.  It is the Six Core Elements.