Telephonic Psychiatric Consultation
Service Program (TiPS)
TiPS is a new HealthChoices program designed to increase the availability of peer-to-peer child psychiatry consultation teams to primary care providers (PCPs), medical specialists, and other prescribers of psychotropic medications for children.
The program provides real-time resources to the PCPs and other providers who desire immediate consultative advice for children with behavioral health concerns, covered by Medical Assistance, up to age 21.
The TiPS teams are comprised of child psychiatrists, licensed therapists, care coordinators, and administrative support. TiPS core services include:
- Telephone and face-to-face consultation
- Care coordination
- Training and education
Below are the HealthChoices zones and corresponding TiPS teams:
TiPS team members respond to a request for consultation within 30 minutes, and often immediately. The consultation would usually result in one of the following outcomes, depending on the needs of the child and family:
- An answer to the PCP's question
- Referral to the team care coordinator to assist the family in accessing local behavioral health services such as therapy, specialty psychiatry, or neuro-psychological assessment
- Referral to the team therapist to provide transitional, face-to-face care or telephonic support to the child and family until the family can access local behavioral health resources
- Referral to the team or local child psychiatrist for a face-to-face acute psychopharmacological or diagnostic consultation
In June 2015, DHS, in Partnership with PolicyLab at CHOP, released new data on psychotropic medication use among Medicaid-enrolled Pennsylvania children in foster care, as well as the state’s action plan to address the findings. The TiPS program is part of the action plan.