UW Medicine Psychiatry Consultation and Telepsychiatry

Telebehavioral Health.jpgThe UW Medicine Psychiatry Consultation and Telepsychiatry (PCAT) program offers telehealth services to meet the behavioral health needs of our local, state and regional communities. An integral part of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, PCAT offers direct and timely access to specialty psychiatric care leading to earlier intervention, better outcomes, and reduced need for expensive higher levels of psychiatric intervention (such as specialty referral, hospitalization, or involuntary commitment). Partnering with UW PCAT also reduces the burden of recruiting, credentialing, supervising and monitoring psychiatric consultants.

PCAT offers three tiers of telepsychiatry:

Provider-to-Provider Consultation. The provider-to-provider program offers clinical consultations to providers based in hospitals and emergency rooms who want advice or a second opinion regarding patients with mental health issues. Consultations may also include a patient examination via televideo (for example, with patients who have been involuntarily detained).

In addition to the fee-based services described above, the following provider-to-provider consultation services are available at no cost:

  • The Partnership Access Line (PAL) at Seattle Children's Hospital offers child and adolescent psychiatry consultation to providers in Washington and Wyoming.
  • PAL for Moms offers perinatal mental health consultation to providers in Washington.
  • The UW Psychiatry and Addictions Case Conference (UW PACC) series uses telehealth services to connect UW Medicine psychiatrists to community providers with the goal of expanding the mental health and addictions care capacity of health care professionals in Washington. This weekly series takes place every Thursday 12-1.30pm PST, and includes a didactic presentation, followed by discussion and consultation regarding two to three patient cases presented by community participants.
In provider-to-provider consultations, UW psychiatrists do not provide any direct patient treatment.
Integrated Care Consultation. Our integrated care consultation service provides psychiatric consultation to behavioral health managers and primary care providers to create an integrated care team practicing measurement- and population-based care. Consultations focus on patients who present with severe symptoms and those who are not meeting treatment expectations. Direct patient tele-video consultation and evaluation may be provided as needed.

The integrated care model we have the most experience with, and that has the strongest evidence base, is the Collaborative Care model. The Mental Health Integration Program (MHIP) in Washington state and the Behavioral Health Integration Program (BHIP) at UW Medicine are examples of Collaborative Care programs where we provide psychiatry consultation services.

In integrated care consultations, UW psychiatrists may or may not provide direct patient treatment.

Direct Patient Care. In partnership with community hospitals, clinics and health centers, PCAT also offers direct psychiatric patient care via televideo. Community organizations purchase regularly scheduled blocks of time with a designated UW psychiatrist for patient assessments, medication management, treatment team meetings, supervision and more. Patients remain at the community site, and are seen by the UW psychiatrist via interactive video teleconference. The Direct Patient Care option allows the community health care facility to use telemedicine to supplement their clinical team with a psychiatrist and provide a consistent remote provider serving a regular caseload of patients, without having to recruit and retain those providers on staff.

In addition, UW faculty specializing in child and adolescent psychiatry consult with children and families throughout Washington and Alaska via the telepsychiatry service at Seattle Children’s Hospital. For more information visit Seattle Children’s Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine.

For more information on our services and rates, please contact:

Cara Towle, RN MSN MA
Associate Director
UW Psychiatric Consultation and Telepsychiatry (UW PCAT) Program

For information about additional telehealth and telemedicine services offered by UW Medicine, please visit UW Medicine Telehealth.