General Helpful Hints for Families Attending CSHS Sub-specialty Medical Clinics
Parents/Guardians should accompany the patient. This is important at the first visit and is needed at all other visits if, for example you need to plan for surgery or if a change in your child's treatment or medical routine is necessary.
There are many families who will be waiting with you in the clinic waiting area. This is a great time to meet other parents and their children. Sometimes this can be a very busy time and space is limited in the patient waiting area, so we ask all parents to supervise their child. Additionally, you should make arrangements for someone to meet and care for your school-age children at home since you may be delayed at clinic.
Always bring with you to each clinic appointment:
- Medicaid card, OR
- Private Health Insurance card
- BRING ALL MEDICATIONS!
- Bring all equipment to the clinic for the doctor's evaluation. This includes: Wheelchairs, braces, harnesses, shoes. However: You should not bring equipment for home and school use, such as corner chairs or positioning chairs unless you have been instructed to do so.
- You should bring snacks for your child, as there are no coke or vending machines in the building.
- Smoking is not permitted in the building; smoking is allowed outside the building.
- You will need extra diapers, bottles, and small toys for your child. Some of the clinics have extended waiting times.
During each clinic appointment:
- Ask the doctor when you don't understand, need more information, or want to make sure the doctor's understanding of your child and your home situation. Helpful Hint: Many families/parents will write down their questions before their clinic visit with their child's doctor so that they don't forget all they want to share, talk about, and find out about.
- You may ask for help from any CSHS staff member if you feel you may have been overlooked for the doctor's exam, brace measurement, x-ray, lab, or other orders, or if you forgot to ask the doctor a question while your child was seen by him/her.
- You may ask to speak with a CSHS social worker if you wish to discuss a personal, family, school, or community problems. Follow-up home visits for counseling are available.
- You may ask to speak with a CSHS Parent Liaison, who is the parent of a child with special health care needs, when you want to discuss personal, family, school, or community problems. The Parent Liaison can connect you with support groups, or other resources that may be of assistance to you.
- Observers such as residents, interns, specialized students, new staff members, or other professionals sometimes attend clinics. They may sit in on exams and interviews. If you are not comfortable with this, let a CSHS staff member know, and changes can be made.
- You should keep your parish health unit informed of your current address and how you can be reached by telephone. Appointment letters for your child's clinic are sent to your home mailing address.
- All of our doctors are in private practice and are only present at CSHS when the clinic is scheduled, which are on certain days each month. Call your public health nurse about problems that occur between clinic visits. The CSHS nurses and doctors will then be contacted for orders, when necessary. When you are in clinic, ask the doctor or the nurse for instructions that doctor wants you to follow if there are emergency situations.
- If you are billed for medical services covered by CSHS or Medicaid, take the original bills to your parish health unit so they can forward the bill to CSHS. Or you can bring the bills to your next clinic visit. DO NOT begin payment of any medical bills until CSHS staff has investigated them. If you are in a hospital where there are charges for television service or meals for parents, you will be responsible for payment of these items on the bill.
- Lastly, Please let us know how to improve our clinics so we can better help you and your child.
When you apply for CSHS sub-specialty medical care, AND each year when the CSHS staff will review your eligibility for services, you will need to provide CSHS with with two (2) sources of financial information:
1. Your Family's Total Gross Income (either monthly, or for a year). This includes: job salaries (hourly wage), Social Security, Child support, VA benefits, unemployment benefits, disability income, investment income, and any other sources of payment. Finally, income proof is required in the forms of check stubs, W-2s, etc.
2. Know your family's medical expenses: This information is needed to find out if your family is financially eligible for the CSHS program. Be able to give statements about your family's total medical debts, and any out-of-pocket paid medical expenses for each family member. This includes: costs of medication, dental care, eye glasses, and other medical supplies and services for the past calendar year. You may include the amount your family pays for medical insurance premiums each month.