UW Telepsychiatry Access Program

Telebehavioral Health.jpgThe UW Telepsychiatry Access Program (TAP) offers 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, TAP develops models that provide 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 TAP also reduces the burden of recruiting, credentialing, supervising and monitoring psychiatric consultants.

TAP offers three tiers of telepsychiatry:

Provider-to-Provider Consultation
The provider-to-provider program offers clinical consultations to providers regarding patients with mental health issues.

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 Psychiatry Consultation Line (PCL) offers adult psychiatry consultation to Washington State primary care providers, ER providers, and state and municipal jail providers.
  • The UW Psychiatry and Addictions Case Conference (UW PACC) series is a CME-accredited program for providers who want to improve the mental health and addictions care for their patients. Facilitated by UW Medicine psychiatrists, addictions experts, and psychologists, the program is designed to expand the mental health and addictions care capacity in Washington state. This weekly series takes place via real-time, interactive video teleconference every Thursday 12-1:30 PM PST, and includes a didactic presentation, followed by discussion and consultation regarding one or two patient cases presented by community participants. Any primary care provider, mental health or addictions provider, or psychiatrist in WA State is welcome to attend (new attendees welcome at any time – weekly attendance not required). It is free to participate, with a nominal fee for CME credits. To register, please visit http://ictp.uw.edu/programs/uw-pacc or e-mail uwpacc@uw.edu
  • The Moms' Access Project (MAP) ECHO: Perinatal Psychiatry Case Conference Series is a CME-accredited program for providers in Washington State who want to improve the mental health of their pregnant and postpartum patients.
  • The Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for psychosis (CBTp) ECHO clinics connect experts in the UW Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences to community mental health providers from rural and underserved areas to enhance capacity to deliver CBT for psychosis (CBTp), an evidence-based psychotherapeutic treatment for schizophrenia spectrum disorders. This is the first ECHO program in the world focused exclusively on schizophrenia spectrum disorders and the first ECHO program to assist providers in developing competencies in group or individual evidence-based psychotherapeutic interventions.
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, TAP offers direct psychiatric patient care via televideo through contractual arrangements with community clinics and hospitals. Community hospitals purchase regularly scheduled blocks of time with a designated UW psychiatrist for patient assessments, medication management, treatment team meetings, supervision and more. Hospitalized patients are seen by UW psychiatrists via interactive video teleconference. This program allows community hospitals to use telemedicine to supplement their clinical team with a psychiatrist without having to recruit and retain one themselves.
In addition, UW faculty specializing in child and adolescent psychiatry and psychology provide direct care to children, adolescents, and families throughout Washington and Alaska via the Telemental Health (TMH) Service at Seattle Children’s Hospital. At community mental health centers, the TMH Service contracts for blocks of time to work closely with patients’ therapists and case managers to care for youth with severe mental and behavioral healthcare needs. In a fee-based model, the TMH Service collaborates with primary care providers to serve youth at Seattle Children’s satellite clinics. In 2019, the TMH Service started home-based services for families with authorized third party payers. 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 Telepsychiatry Access Program (TAP)

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