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Next Steps: A Practitioner's Guide For Themed Follow-up Visits For Their Patients to Achieve a Healthy Weight
Next Steps: A Practitioner's Guide For Themed Follow-up
Visits For Their Patients to Achieve a Healthy Weight

Toolkit for Families of Children with Special Healthcare Needs - Hearing Loss

Tip 6: Ensure that your physician and early intervention provider can ‘talk’ to each other

What We Learned in this Project
• Primary care providers reported that they rarely receive information from Early Intervention programs about services their patients are receiving, or the intervention plan and goals.
• For children with hearing loss, PCPs may be unaware of the nature of the intervention services the family is receiving, or the goals of intervention.
• PCPs would welcome such information, and seek dialogue with early intervention providers.
• EI providers report that they rarely receive communications from the child’s PCP.
• EI providers in some settings regard themselves as prohibited by law from discussing a child’s intervention with the child’s primary care provider without written consent of the family. 

What We Did
• We tested use of HIPAA-FERPA Release Forms that could be signed by families at their first visit to the EI provider that would allow the EI provider to then share information with both the state newborn hearing screening program and the PCP about the child’s entry to, and progress in EI. 

Questions to Ask Yourselves
• As family members, do we feel like we are the only ones who have the ‘big picture’ when it comes to our child’s healthcare?
• Do the different providers in our lives have information from one another so they can collaborate on the care for our child?
• Does our primary care physician (PCP) know if we are receiving intervention services and the goal of the services?
• Does my PCP have a copy of our child’s IFSP (Individual Family Services Plan)?
• Have we been asked to sign a HIPAA-FERPA release form at so that information can be shared between providers?

Be Proactive
• Consider keeping a notebook with all relevant information that you can take to different providers.
• Make copies of information from one provider to share with others as you are moving through systems (i.e., take your child’s audiogram to your PCP and/or early intervention provider.
• Sign a HIPPA-FERPA release form at so that information can be shared between providers.
• Discuss the IFSP with your primary care physician.

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