The Psychiatric Consultant supports the Primary Care Provider (PCP) and Behavioral Health Care Manager (BHCM) in treating patients with behavioral health problems. This role can be performed by any psychiatric expert who can assist the primary care team diagnosis with treatment planning and recommendations about changes in treatment when the patient is not at least 50% improved after 10-12 weeks on any given treatment plan.
The Psychiatric Consultant may suggest treatment modifications, in-person consultations, or specialty mental health services for clinically challenging patients. The Consultant does not normally see the patient or prescribe medications; however, they are available during business hours for ad-hoc consultation as needed.
Some skills that may be new to Psychiatric Consultants include:
- Triage/Treat patients without seeing them
- Create a treatment plan in a short amount of time and with limited information
- Think about the treatment needs of a population of patients
Organizations will need around 0.075 FTE (3 hours per week) of Psychiatric Consultant time to assist each nearly full-time or full-time BHCM to manage a full caseload. Please refer to the AIMS Center's Guidelines for Behavioral Health Care Manager Caseload Size for more information to plan staff resources.
- View Clinical Skills specific to psychiatrists, psychologists and other mental health care professionals who practice as part of a Collaborative Care team.
- Apply the Integrated Care Approach - Free, CME-eligible course developed by the AIMS Center and the American Psychiatric Association.
- Integrated Care Psychiatric Consultant Learning Collaborative - Monthly, CME-eligible learning sessions for psychiatric providers delivering integrated care.
- Concerned about liability issues? View a Resource Document on Risk Management and Liability Issues in Integrated Care Models and an Example Disclaimer for Psychiatric Consultants.
- For an in-depth look at the role of a Psychiatric Consultant, read our Psychiatric Consultant Profile.