Changes to the Center for the Management of ADHD, Current Waitlist Families Need to Act

A note for referring providers and partners:

Here at the Center for Management of ADHD at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), we have determined we need to revise our evaluation intake system in an effort to ensure that children with the greatest needs are seen in a more timely and efficient manner. As you know, CHOP and other local and national providers have seen unprecedented levels of behavioral health needs in recent years. The Center for Management of ADHD has worked hard to support children and families in our region; however, the level of community need contributed to families waiting for approximately a year to obtain an initial evaluation. This wait creates additional stress on providers, patients and families.

Effective July 1, 2023, CHOP’s ADHD Center has transitioned to a first call scheduling model and will no longer maintain a patient wait list. This means that patients who call CHOP’s ADHD Center for an appointment will be immediately scheduled into available appointments. If no appointments are available, they will be encouraged to access resources in their community and through their insurance company to obtain care, seek initial care with their primary care physician, or asked to call the Center again at a later time.

The Center for Management of ADHD will focus on identifying and treating children (ages 3 to 18 years) with complex ADHD mainly through non-testing diagnostic assessment and medication management consultation with more limited availability for follow-up care in the form of behavioral interventions and psychoeducational testing. Complex ADHD for school aged children (ages 6 to 18 years) includes the following:

  • ADHD with co-existing moderate to severe anxiety and depression
  • ADHD with symptoms of autism spectrum disorders
  • Academic problems that may require learning support
  • ADHD with co-existing medical conditions
  • Patients with a trauma history
  • Significant family conflict and/or family disagreement about diagnosis/treatment plan
  • Patients who have had an insufficient response to first line interventions

Treatment for preschool aged children (ages 3 to 5 years) will be scheduled in accordance with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics guidelines. 

We will maintain our commitment to all patients currently on our waitlist who are still in need of care at the ADHD Center. All families now on the waitlist will be contacted in the near future and asked to respond with updated information about their child’s needs. Although we are confident the changes to our intake process will improve efficiency, they will not necessarily eliminate wait times and families currently on our list may still face significant waits while we work through the backlog of patients. We intend to gradually build capacity through the new first call scheduling system over the next six to 12 months, which will allow us to honor commitments to patients already on the waitlist.

As CHOP’s processes evolve to meet the challenging needs of families with children with complex ADHD, we continue to offer our partners like you supports and resources in the diagnosis and management of less complex forms of ADHD. You can find both provider and family resources in the resources section of the ADHD Center’s web page.

If you have questions about the services provided by the Center for Management of ADHD or this new process, please contact

In Partnership,

Center for Management of ADHD

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