Maryland Behavioral Health Integration in Pediatric Primary Care (B-HIPP)
A Consultation Resource for Pediatric Primary Care Providers
B-HIPP aims to support the efforts primary care providers (PCPs), including pediatricians, family physicians, nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants, in assessing and managing mental health concerns in their patients from infancy through the transition to young-adulthood. Over time, B-HIPP aims to make managing child and adolescent mental health problems more routine and in primary care settings and to make it an efficient and effective gateway to specialty mental health care. B-HIPP offers this assistance through four main components, all of which are available to PCPs without charge and without regard to a patient’s insurance status:
- Phone Consultation Service: B-HIPP provides phone consultation for PCPs with child mental health specialists (child psychiatrists, psychologists, clinical social workers, and licensed professional counselors) at the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins. The consultations are conducted much in the same was as in other specialties, without gathering identifying information about the patients. The team is available Monday - Friday, 9am-5pm (except major holidays) to provide general and/or case specific consultation in many areas of behavioral health including medication management, diagnostic issues, developmental delays, school/learning issues, autism spectrum disorders, trauma, and early childhood mental health (ages 0-5). When needed, PCPs can get suggestions for local resources and referrals through these calls as described in Referral & Resource Networking below.
- Continuing Education: B-HIPP will offer opportunities for mental health skills training for PCPs. Training opportunities will be informed by current data/literature on mental health prevention and treatment and will be responsive to priority needs of families and providers.
- Referral & Resource Networking: B-HIPP will work to increase access to children's mental health services by improving linkages between PCPs and the mental health providers in their communities rather than by creating new services. B-HIPP will collaborate with other state initiatives to identify local resources and support families through the use of existing care coordination and family navigation services.
- Social Work Co-Location: In partnership with Salisbury University, B-HIPP is piloting social work co-location in four pediatric primary care practices on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. In the co-location model, social work interns are available on-site to provide screening, brief intervention, referral and real-time consultation to PCPs.
With funding from the Mental Hygiene Administration and the Maryland State Department of Education, we are in the process of establishing a similar program for primary care providers caring for children and adolescents in Maryland. The program is tentatively called Maryland B-HIPP, for the Maryland Behavioral Health Integration in Pediatric Primary Care. The work for this project is to be carried out as a collaboration among the University of Maryland School of Medicine/Department of Psychiatry, the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health, and Salisbury University Social Work Department.
There are currently 52 providers enrolled in B-HIPP statewide. While we are focusing our outreach efforts on specific pilot regions, pediatric primary care providers from anywhere in Maryland are encouraged to enroll.