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Telephonic Psychiatric Consultation Service Program (TiPS)

What is TiPS?

TiPS is a Pennsylvania HealthChoices program that increases the availability of child psychiatry consultation teams to primary care practitioners (PCPs) and other prescribers of psychotropic medications.

The real-time, peer-to-peer resource facilitates immediate consultative advice when treating behavioral health challenges in children up to age 21 insured by the state’s Medical Assistance (Medicaid) program.

TiPS team members can:

  • Help PCPs effectively meet the needs of youth with common mental health conditions like attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and mild depression.
  • Make care connections for children requiring specialty psychiatric care and/or medications not appropriately managed in the primary care setting.*

* TiPS psychiatrists do not prescribe medications.

How to enroll in TiPS

Zones Map

Call the TiPS team in your designated HealthChoices zone:

  • Lehigh/Capital — 1-800-233-4082, option 4 (Penn State Children's Hospital).
  • New East — 1-800-233-4082, option 4 (Penn State Children's Hospital).
  • Southeast — 1-267-426-1776 (Children's Hospital of Philadelphia).
  • New West — 1-844-972-8477 (Children's Community Pediatrics).
  • Southwest — 1-844-972-8477 (Children's Community Pediatrics).

Once you are enrolled, your TiPS team will work with you and your staff either in person or by phone to:

  • Explain how to access services.
  • Answer questions.
  • Discuss expectations.

TiPS core services

Telephone and face-to-face consultations

Phone inquiries can be patient-specific or general questions regarding behavioral health care or community resources. Consultation outcomes may result in referrals to:

  • The team care coordinator to assist families in accessing local behavioral health services, such as therapy, specialty psychiatry, or neuropsychological assessment.
  • The team therapist to provide transitional, face-to-face care or telephonic support to children and families until the families can access local behavioral health resources.
  • The team or a local child psychiatrist for face-to-face acute psychopharmacological or diagnostic consultations.

Care coordination

Highly skilled in identifying and maintaining up-to-date behavioral health resources in communities, TiPS care coordinators will:

  • Work with families to identify appropriate options and provide information on expected wait times for services.
  • Follow up with families to ensure connections are made.
  • Update PCPs or other practices to provide assurance that patients are receiving needed care.

Training and education

Options include grand rounds, case consultations, roundtable seminars with multiple practices, and lunch-and-learn sessions on specific topics such as:

  • Psychotropic medications, “black box” adverse side effect warnings, and new prescribing guidelines.
  • Best practices for implementing and using screening or assessment tools.
  • Specific diagnostic or symptom education for issues such as self-injury, binging, and substance use.
  • Strategies for developing a referral network of community resources.

View our full TiPS flier for more information (PDF)