PITTSBURGH, July 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Gateway Health is proud to announce a partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) to offer a new program, the Telephonic Psychiatric Consultation Service (TiPS). TiPS will be offered by all HealthChoices managed care organizations (MCOs), including Gateway, to improve responsiveness and efficiency for pediatric psychiatric needs. TiPS provides real time resources to physicians who need immediate consultation and recommendations for children with behavioral health concerns.
Offering this program at a time when the movement is increasing the availability of peer-to-peer child psychiatry consultation teams to primary care providers (PCPs), medical specialists, and other providers who are prescribing psychotropic medications to children who are members of a HealthChoices plan allows Gateway to better serve members under the age of 18.
"In many situations when a pediatrician or primary care physician is treating a child with behavioral health issues, prescription drugs often become the preferred way to help a patient," said Gateway Health's Chief Medical Officer, Michael Madden, M.D. "Making TiPS available to our provider community now gives us additional and better options to treat patients by focusing on their specific needs and not simply prescribing a medication that may or may not address the issue. Practitioners are able to interact behavioral health professionals to holistically diagnose and treat the patient which can greatly improve efficacy."
The Pennsylvania HealthChoices MCOs selected one vendor to provide the TiPS program in each of five HealthChoices zones. In the Southwest and Northwest zones, Children's Community Pediatrics will serve Gateway members and the Penn State Children's Hospital will provide services to members in the Lehigh/Capital zone. Providers reach the TiPS team care centers in each specific zone at the following numbers:
- Southwest and Northwest: Children's Community Pediatrics – (844)-972-8477
- Lehigh/Capital : Penn State Children's Hospital – (800)-233-4082
The core model on which TiPS is built, centers on teams consisting of child psychiatrists, licensed therapists, care coordinators, and administrative support teams. These teams will help find and connect patients to the appropriate care they need, making it their focus to not simply prescribe medication as a first response solution.
"Gateway is proud and excited to have worked closely with DHS to develop and launch this much needed program," said Dr. Madden. "The TiPS teams consist of some of the most highly trained therapists, care coordinators and psychiatrists who specialize in child behavioral health and the unique needs of this population. These care teams will improve response times and provide consultations when help is needed and time is of the essence."
TiPS team members respond to a request for consultation within 30 minutes, many times immediately and provide support in a number of ways:
- Answer the PCP's question(s)
- Refer the patient to the team care coordinator to assist the family in accessing local behavioral health services such as therapy, specialty psychiatry, or neuro-psychological assessment
- Refer the patient 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
- Refer the patient to the team or a local child psychiatrist for a face-to-face acute psychopharmacological or diagnostic consultation
The teams will help assist any PCP who sees children or adolescents covered by HealthChoices enabling Gateway Health's youngest and most vulnerable members to now have access to improved and prompt behavioral health care. TiPS core services that will be available to providers who see Gateway members will include, telephone and face-to-face consultation, care coordination as well as training and education.
About Gateway Health
Gateway Health is a nationally ranked managed care organization that focuses on providing the best possible healthcare to a growing number of Medicaid and Medicare Advantage consumers. Gateway Health serves the needs of at risk and vulnerable citizens including those facing chronic diseases and those who are Medicare eligible and low-income. The organization provides Medicaid services in Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia and Medicare coverage in Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Ohio and North Carolina. Gateway members have benefitted from services such as disease management, health and wellness programs and preventive care. "A Better Way" is more than a tagline, but what Gateway wants for its members, providers, communities and partners. To learn more about Gateway Health, visit us online at www.gatewayhealthplan.com.
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SOURCE Gateway Health