Your Child's Cerebral Palsy Appointment
The Cerebral Palsy Program sees patients every Tuesday in the Musculoskeletal Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), located on the second floor of the Children's Seashore House at Main Campus.
Your child's first appointment
We ask that patient families bring any braces that they currently use (i.e. ankle-foot orthoses and hand splints), as well as any equipment they use for mobility (i.e. strollers, wheelchairs, and walkers/gait trainers) so that we may evaluate them for fit and functionality. Initial visits typically last three to four hours, and breaks can be given if needed.
Your child’s initial appointment will include evaluations by several members of our interdisciplinary team, including at least one medical/surgical specialty (Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Orthopaedic Surgery, and/or Developmental Pediatrics); as well as physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, and social work. Nutrition specialists are also available by family request, or if the other members of the team feel a nutritional evaluation will be beneficial. Each discipline completes its evaluation individually.
We will work with you to help build the best possible interdisciplinary visit for your child, both in terms of patient care and cost effectiveness. After your child’s initial clinic evaluation (we require a full-team evaluation, to include all three therapies, for the initial visit), you will be welcome to actively participate with the clinic staff to determine which therapists will see your child during any given appointment.
X-rays may be done in the visit (most often of the hips and/or spine) if deemed appropriate based on the age and needs of your child.
At the end of the first visit, any findings and recommendations are discussed and finalized among the team and family. The patient and family will leave the initial appointment with a written list of findings and recommendations, and a full visit report is send to the child's primary care physician three to four weeks after the appointment.
Insurance and billing
If your insurance requires referrals, you will need one referral per physician (CHCA for Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Developmental Pediatrics, CSA for Orthopaedics) and one “CHOP” referral (“CHOP: PT, OT, and ST”). A separate charge is generated for each specialist who evaluates your child in the course of our interdisciplinary evaluation.
If your insurance requires a specialist co-payment, a co-payment will be generated for each specialist charge, which means that a full team evaluation would result in up to five co-payment charges. These co-pays are not collected on the day of service, because we will not always know which disciplines your child will see at the outset of the visit. CHOP will mail you a bill after the visit to collect the total amount due for your co-payments.
The Cerebral Palsy Program typically sees patients 1 to 2 times per year, depending on the child’s age, needs, and recommended interventions. Visits with the individual specialists or therapies may occur throughout the year, separately from the team evaluation.