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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.

To enroll in TiPS, call your TiPS team at 1‑267‑426‑1776.

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.