Mayo Clinic has signed a two-year contract to oversee a statewide children’s mental-health advice hotline starting Aug. 1 for doctors who write prescriptions without specialty training.
The partnership with the Minnesota Department of Human Services will help pediatricians, ER doctors and family physicians standardize care for children who need mental health treatment. It’s needed because there are not enough child psychiatrists in the state.
“The new service is referred to as ‘collaborative psychiatric consultation’ and is based on pilot projects that improved care and saved money,” according to a clinic announcement.
Physicians seeing kids served by state medical assistance will be required to call before prescribing certain drugs, but the service will be open to any physician treating children with mental health diagnoses.
Mayo’s role is part of the clinic’s national effort to standardize treatment of children with mental illness, such as those who display aggressive behavior like bullying.
The physicians-only Minnesota hotline will offer child-focused consultations with psychiatrists who can offer guidance to doctors who don’t specialize in mental health but who prescribe psychoactive drugs because there are too few psychiatrists in the state to meet demand.
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