Transition to Adult Care — Outpatient Specialty Care and Primary Care

Patients Ready to Transition to Adult Care

Healthcare transition is the process of changing from a pediatric to an adult model of healthcare. The goal of transition is to optimize health and assist youth in reaching their full potential. To achieve this goal requires an organized transition process to support youth in acquiring independent healthcare skills, preparing for an adult model of care, and transferring to new providers without disruption in care.

Aligned with the AAP/AAFP/ACP Clinical Report on Transition, Got Transition/the Center for Health Care Transition Improvement recommends the following timeline for transitioning youth from pediatric to adult healthcare settings, both in primary and specialty care:

Patient Age Provider Key Steps
Age 12 Educate youth and family about adult transition policy
Age 14 Initiate healthcare transition planning
Age 16 Prepare youth and parents for adult model of care and discuss transfer
Age 18 Transition to adult models of care
Age 18-22 Transfer care to adult medical home and/or specialists with transfer package
Age 23-26 Integrate young adults into care

This timeline was originally developed in 2009 and has been reviewed by over 50 pediatric and adult health care professionals and youth and family experts.1

  1. Pediatrics, July 2011, VOLUME 128 / ISSUE 1, From the American Academy of Pediatrics Clinical Report Supporting the Health Care Transition From Adolescence to Adulthood in the Medical Home