Family-tested solutions
for Special Needs

Toddler and mother playing together

Family-tested solutions
for Special Needs

Toddler and mother playing together

Using Phone Logs to Get Results


Taking good notes during any school meeting, call, or appointment is a powerful way to get what you need.  If you can say, “According to my notes….” and repeat specific details about a prior conversation, many problems will melt away.  Your notes tell people “I’m serious, I paid attention to the process, and I intend to follow through until I get results.” 



Talking to Customer Service


It can be especially useful to log any call to a health insurance provider because you often need to speak to a series of different people.  If you have to ask for a supervisor (or that supervisor’s supervisor), you’ll need to quickly summarize what the last person said. This frustrating process will be much simpler if you have the basics written down. (Also, your log of conversations can become part of the record if you need to appeal an insurer’s decision later.  Our GTP Founder Wendy Besmann once used her phone logs to get reimbursement for $10,000 in speech therapy bills.) 


Just the Basics


Taking basic notes can be more effective than trying to write down whole conversations.  A good phone log needs to include:

  1. The name of the person you spoke with (even if they only gave you a first name during a customer service call).
  2. That person’s ID/badge number or unique identifier (Sometimes you have to ask for this: “For my records, please tell me…” Mentioning that you are keeping notes is sometimes enough to make good things happen faster!)
  3. The date and time of your conversation.
  4. A direct phone number (instead of the number on your insurance card) if possible.  This is more likely if you are speaking to an upper-level supervisor, sometimes called a “care manager.”
  5. An email address if possible (again, don’t be afraid to ask for it).
  6. A brief summary of the conversation, focusing on what you asked for, what this person told you, and what was decided. 

To help you get started with logging conversations, check out our downloadable phone log. You can three-hole punch copies of this log to put in a binder with your child’s important records.  (More on simple ways to keep good records.)

Wendy Lowe Besmann

Wendy Besmann, Founder and Content Director of Get There Project, is the mother of a son with autism and bipolar disorder. She is the author of Family Road Map: A Step-By-Step Guide to Navigating Health, Education, and Insurance Systems for Families with Special Needs, Team Up for Your Child: A Step-By-Step Guide to Working Smarter with Doctors, Schools, Insurers and Agencies, and (with Kimberly Douglass, PhD) Young Adult Road Map: A Step-By-Step Guide to Wellness, Independent Living, and Transition Services for People in Their Teens and Twenties. She founded Get There Project’s primary partner Team Up for Families, an advocacy and training organization for families living with behavioral, developmental, and other special health needs.

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