Texas Parent to Parent

Pathways: Health Care Transition

Funded by:
Texas Department of State Health Services’ Children with Special Health Care Needs Program Contract, Federal Maternal Child Health Bureau Family to Family Health Information Center Grant, and private donations

Health care transition refers to your child's move from pediatric medical services and insurance to adult medical services and insurance. Three issues may come up during this transition:

  1. Age 18 is the age of majority in Texas! This is when a person assumes the rights and privileges of adulthood. Starting at age 18, a health care professional may not share information with parents unless you make provisions to do so. Parents will still have the right to information for a youth over 18:
    • If the parent has become the child's guardian,
    • if the youth has given the parent medical power of attorney,
    • if the youth has signed a form for a specific medical provider giving the parent this right. Also in many situations the youth can invite his or her parent to participate at appointments, etc.
    Another option is to build your child's capacity to describe his or her disability, medications, and medical needs starting around age 14, so that perhaps gradually the parent is not needed when the youth or adult meets with a medical service provider.
  2. Finding adult medical services to replace pediatric. Often families have a close relationship with pediatric providers and find it hard to move on; also it can be difficult to find adult providers who will take on adults with disabilities and complex issues. Suggestions to cope with this transition are:
    • ask for recommendations from current pediatric providers
    • get recommendations about adult providers from other parents and the TXP2P listservs
    • start a care notebook to record your child's pediatric history and prepare to pass on records and information to new adult providers. TxP2P Care Notebook is available at www.txp2p.org/resources/CareNotebook.html
  3. Families must also plan for how to pay for adult medical services. Sources of medical insurance for adults with disabilities are:

For an article on the issue of healthcare transition, see:

Here is a great website on all phases of healthcare transition:

There is an annual conference at the Baylor College of Medicine on medical transition, the Chronic Illness and Disability Conference: Transition from Pediatric to Adult-based Care. Please call the TXP2P office for up-to-date information on this conference, which is in Houston in early October each year.

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