Young woman with brown skin and brown curly hair wearing a white long-sleeved shirt listening to a healthcare provider.

Healthcare Transition: Stay a Step Ahead

Healthcare Transition is the change from a PEDIATRIC model of care (parents and caregivers make most decisions) to an ADULT model of care (most adults make their own healthcare decisions).

Step 1: Start talking transition

Age 12-14

  • Know the names of doctors and reasons
    for seeing them.
  • Allow time for the youth patient to meet with the physician alone.
  • Fill out a checklist to prepare for
    adult healthcare.

Step 2: Be in the know

Age 15-17

  • Youth, families, and doctor need to know youth’s
    • unique medical needs
    • communication style
    • disability
    • diagnosis
  • Youth and family need to learn about privacy and consent before age 18.

Decisions need to be made before 18th birthday.

Step 3: Transition to Adult Care

18 & up

  • Ask current doctor to recommend doctors who care for adults.
  • Check on insurance coverage.
  • Be sure medical records are sent to adult doctor(s).

Health Transition Wisconsin

Wisconsin Regional Centers for Children and Youth with Special Healthcare Needs


Wisconsin Resources

  • Build Your Bridge – Training for families available through Wisconsin Regional Centers for Children and Youth with Special Healthcare Needs
  • Bridging the Gap – conferences and for community groups
  • Closing the Gap – Training and technical assistance for medical practices to develop & implement healthcare transition strategies

Got Transition & National Resources

Healthcare Transition is a process that takes time and involves youth & families, pediatric & adult providers and coordination with other transition activities.