Policy for Separated and Divorced Parents

Next Step Pediatrics’ providers and staff are dedicated to our patients and providing quality medical care to your child(ren). Our focus is on your child’s medical, emotional, psychological and physiological health. We are not party to or to be involved in any legal issues involving divorce, separation, or custody agreements. Please read the following so that we may provide care to your child(ren).

  • The providers, nurses, medical assistants, office, and billing staff will not be put in the middle of domestic issues or disagreements over the phone or in the office.
  • Please make decisions regarding appointments, vaccinating and/or any office procedures PRIOR to visiting our practice.
  • Only in situations where there is a confirmed, documented Court Order will one of the parents be denied access to the minor child’s health records or visits at the office. Next Step Pediatrics must have a copy of this Court Order on file in the minor child’s electronic chart.
  • If there is NOT a court order on file with our office, either parent or legal guardian can sign a “consent to treat” form and authorize any named individuals (like grandparents, nannies, etc.) to bring your child to our practice, be present during the visit and consent to any treatment during that visit. We will not be involved in any disputes regarding named individuals on the consent forms unless instructed by the court. Either parent or legal guardian can schedule an appointment for their child, be present for the visit, and/or obtain a copy of the visit summary.
  • It is both parent’s responsibility to communicate with each other about the patient’s care, office visit dates and any other pertinent information relevant to the patient. It is not responsibility of the provider to communicate visit information to each custodial parent separately. Our providers will not call the non-attending parent following visits.
  • Additionally, we will not call the other parent for consent regarding appointments scheduled, restrict either parent’s involvement in the patient’s care unless authorized by law or tolerate appointment scheduling/canceling patterns of behavior between parents.
  • Furthermore, payments, including copays, deductibles, coinsurance, or any additional fees charged by your insurance are due at the time of service regardless of which parent is responsible for medical expenses. We are not a party to your divorce agreement. We will collect payment from the parent who brings the child to their visit. If the divorce decree requires the other parent to pay all or part of the treatment costs, it is the authorizing parent’s responsibility to collect from the other parent. Any disputes about payment that end up in the collection process will be due at the next time of service or the patient will not be seen.
  • If we feel any of the above points are becoming an issue at the office, and/or compromising patient care, we have the right to discharge the family from the practice.