Children’s mental health
Collaborative psychiatric consultation service

Minnesota’s consultation service is available to primary care providers, pediatricians, family practice physicians, psychiatrists and other practitioners Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. The statewide toll-free number is:


Although children on Medical Assistance fee-for-service are the first priority for this service, the service will take provider calls relating to any type of children’s mental health issue that arises with any child in Minnesota.


The 2010 Minnesota Legislature enacted legislation authorizing the Department of Human Services to develop consultation requirements for certain psychotropic medications for children.

The following needs led to this legislation:

  • • The need for better collaboration between primary care and behavioral health
  • • The need for improved access to scarce psychiatric resources
  • • Concerns about overuse and inappropriate use of psychotropic medications for children, partly indicated by multiple studies indicating that over 60% of all children who were receiving psychotropic medications were not receiving specialized mental health services
  • • Data showing adults with serious mental illness die 25 years younger, partly due to lack of coordination between physical health and behavioral health
  • • Pilot projects showing that psychiatric consultation and collaborative care can improve the quality of care while reducing costs
  • DHS consulted with experts in the field and reviewed research to determine which medications and dose ranges would require a collaborative consultation. For the first two years of the project, practitioners writing prescriptions outside of the dose ranges were required to consult with the psychiatric consultation service in order to get prescriptions approved.

    How is the Service Provided?

  • • Triage professionals (licensed social workers) answer calls and determine the most appropriate response.
  • • Based on the triage protocol, calls may be referred to a project psychiatrist for phone consultation with the primary care physician, referred for emergency or crisis services, or referred and linked to community based mental health providers and/or family support resources.
  • • The service is provided free of charge to all callers.
  • • MHCP prescribers can bill MA for the consultation session with a collaborative psychiatric service psychiatrist: Psychiatric Consultations to Primary Care Providers: Billing.
  • Recent Developments

    Effective June 1, 2014, psychiatric consultations will no longer be required for high-dose ADHD and SGA drugs prescribed for children over age 3. Instead, pharmacies will receive an informational message when they bill for prescriptions which exceed the dose/age threshold for recipients under age 18.

    Also, as of June 1, 2014, a child must be at least three years old for all ADHD and SGA prescriptions. Prior authorization (PA) overrides will not be available for children younger than age 3. Some drugs will continue to be subject to higher age requirements. PA requirements for prescription drugs, including age requirements for prescription drugs, are available on the PA Criteria and Regimen Review Sheets.

    Treatment Guidelines for Primary Care Providers

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