Psychiatric Consultant Role and Job Description

The Psychiatric Consultant supports the prescribing medical provider and Behavioral Health Care Manager in treating patients with behavioral health problems. They will typically consult with the Behavioral Health Care Manager on a weekly basis to review the treatment plan and provide treatment suggestions for patients who are new or not improving as expected.

The resource below includes a PDF of a comprehensive description of the duties, responsibilities, resource requirements and typical workload of a Psychiatric Consultant.

Resource Document on Risk Management and Liability Issues in Integrated Care Models

For psychiatrists considering future roles in integrated care systems, it is important to clarify malpractice liability when providing advice about care for patients for whom the psychiatrist may not be the primary prescriber. This resource document provides background information on medical malpractice cases, defines the doctor-patient relationship, distinguishes the different forms of consultation offered to primary prescribers, describes the duty of the psychiatrist across the spectrum of roles on a patient care team, and, finally, makes recommendations to reduce the risk of malpractice issues.

Example Disclaimer for Psychiatric Consultants

It is important to clarify malpractice liability when providing care advice to patients where the psychiatrist may not be the primary prescriber. An example disclaimer regarding EMR reviews is below. Pairing this information with the name and contact information of the Psychiatric Consultant makes it easy to facilitate communication about recommendations. To the AIMS Center’s knowledge, this type of disclaimer has not been tested in a court case.

“The treatment considerations and suggestions in this case review are based on consultations with the patient’s Behavioral Health Care Manager and a review of information available in the care management tracking system. I have not personally examined the patient. All recommendations should be implemented with consideration of the patient’s relevant prior history and current clinical status. Please feel free to call me with any questions about the care of this patient.”

The Resource Document on Risk Management and Liability Issues in Integrated Care Models provides additional information on liability issues.

Example Psychiatric Consultant Services Contract

An example of a Psychiatric Consultant services agreement between a Community Mental Health Center and a Federally Qualified Health Center for organizations that may be interested in contracting for Psychiatric Consult services.

Please note: Contract language and template example is provided with permission from Valley Cities Behavioral Health Care.