Transitioning from teen to adult health care

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Parents are used to making medical decisions for their children, but that changes in an instant when a teen turns 18.

Family physician Martin Katz says parents and teens should be talking about medical decisions and health care well before a teen turns 18, to help the teen get ready to think about managing their own health.

Once a child is legally an adult, Katz says the dynamic between doctor and young patient changes quickly.

"The medical choices you make, I can't discuss that with your parents anymore," Katz said. "So I'm going to be discussing it very much with you as you are now culpable for these choices."

Katz said teens and parents should also consider who will receive the bills for the teen's health care after age 18, not only to determine who is responsible for paying but also because there may be confidential medical information contained in those records that the teen may wish to keep private.

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