• Frequently Asked Questions

    The Division of Adolescent and Transition Medicine and the Teen Health Center staff at Cincinnati Children’s have compiled questions and responses for parents and patients.

  • Professionals at the Teen Health Center see patients ages 12 through 21. However, Teen Health Center staff also see children younger than 12 if they have started puberty or for gynecologic consultation.

    New-patient appointments are scheduled by calling 513-636-4681 and pressing 1. You will be asked to provide basic demographic and insurance information.

    If a community healthcare provider refers your teenager to the Teen Health Center, an authorization from the teen’s health insurance may be needed. The referring healthcare provider most often requests that authorization from the health insurance. The teen’s parent or guardian calls the Teen Health Center to make an appointment and the referral is faxed to the Teen Health Center, 513-636-7844, from the referring provider.

    All appointments are scheduled through one central phone number, 513-636-4681. Ask for an appointment at one of the outpatient service locations.

    It’s important to understand that the healthcare providers at the satellites only provide consultative services and not primary healthcare.

    Specialists in Adolescent Medicine are experts in treating the medically and psychosocially complex health issues of teens beyond what is typically provided by a primary care provider. Consultative services are often requested for teens who have:

    • Complex medical or chronic illness
    • Persistent fatigue
    • Reproductive health issues
    • Gynecologic concerns
    • Drug or alcohol use
    • Eating disorders
    • Weight-management issues
    • Mood or behavioral problems
    • School performance issues
    • Gender identity concerns
    • Sexuality concerns
    • Transgender health issues

    After consultations, teens return to their community primary care providers for routine healthcare. The Teen Health Center staff collaborates with primary care providers until the consultative issue is resolved.

    Primary healthcare is also known as general healthcare. All teens need to have a primary care provider who takes care of annual or sports physicals, helps out if the teen gets an acute illness, makes sure that immunizations are up to date, and provides health promotion and support to the teen and family regarding the normal developmental milestones of adolescence. The professionals at the Teen Health Center provide primary healthcare at Cincinnati Children’s  Burnet Campus.

    School difficulties are not uncommon during teenage years. There are often increasing academic demands at school as well as pressure from peers to spend more time away from home and homework and engaged in social activities. Sorting out whether a decline in school performance is due to poor time management or a specific learning disorder can be tricky.

    The Teen Health Center staff can assist in beginning the process of teasing out the true nature of school performance problems. The first thing to do is to make sure there are not any health-related problems that are interfering with the teen’s ability to learn. Health-related problems include substance use, depression, family conflicts and somatic complaints such as headaches, stomach aches, chest pain and fatigue. Once these issues are better understood, the healthcare team might refer the teenager for a comprehensive educational evaluation.

    We recommend that families contact their teenagers’ school district to request a comprehensive evaluation. Often that request needs to be in writing. Follow up with the school if you do not receive a response in a reasonable time.

    Teenagers may also be referred to a psychologist or an educational specialist at Cincinnati Children’s or in the community for cognitive and academic achievement testing. These tests will assist in determining if the teenager has a learning disability or ADHD or global learning difficulties that interfere with academic performance. Psychology staff can be contacted by calling 513-636-4336.