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
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.
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.