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Maryland Behavioral Health Integration Program in Primary Care (B-HIPP)

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who can use B-HIPP?

A: The program is open to Maryland primary care providers serving youth from early childhood onward. This may include:

  • Physicians
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Clinical Nurse Specialists
  • Physician Assistants
  • Social workers and other mental health professionas who are co-located in primary care settings

Primary care may encompass general ambulatory medical care for children that may or may not be longitudinal (as in foster care intake). People who provide part of primary care (ie, immunizations) for children who may not receive comprehensive or longitudinal primary care may also use the program. In an effort to ensure quality service, we request that all providers enroll in the program.

Q: What types of questions can I call B-HIPP for?

A: You can call B-HIPP with general questions about children's mental health, or about a specific case. We're ready to respond to your calls about a wide range of children's behavioral health topics including questions about:

  • Diagnosing mental illness
  • Medication treatment
  • Trauma and adverse experiences
  •  Abuse/neglect
  • Substance abuse
  • Developmental delays or concerns
  • Child care/school behavioral and learning difficulties
  • Safety concerns and treatment planning
  • Parenting education and support
  • Locating resources in the community

Providers may contact B-HIPP with general or patient-specific questions regarding any of these areas.

Q: What kinds of questions are NOT appropriate for B-HIPP?

A: B-HIPP is a consultation service for PCPs. Therefore, we cannot provide crisis/emergency psychiatric support or direct clinical care to patients or families. For questions concerning child custody, child maltreatment or forensic evaluations, B-HIPP consultants will strive to connect primary care providers with appropriate resources in the community or provide general education on the topic, but the consultants cannot make abuse reports or forensic recommendations. For example, B-HIPP consultants cannot evaluate patients for acute suicidality, but the consultant may discuss appropriate suicide risk assessment tools with the primary care provider.

Q: How does the phone consultation service work?

A: Below is a basic overview of how the program is designed to operate:

  • Join B-HIPP by completing the enrollment form.
  • Call B-HIPP at 855-MD-BHIPP to initiate a consultation
  • Our Behavioral Health Clinician, Kate Robertson, is available to answer your call Monday-Friday, 9am to 5pm (except major holidays). She will gather some basic information about your question and can provide screening instruments, handouts, referral resources, and offer basic guidance as appropriate. For most clinical questions, she will arrange a time within one business day to have the best-matched B-HIPP consultant call you to discuss your question.
  • After the consultation, you will be provided with a brief written summary for your reference.

Q: When I call 855-MD-BHIPP, will you talk to or treat my patients directly?

A: No, we cannot treat your patients directly, but we're here to provide guidance and information to pediatric primary care providers and their staff. We can also help with referrals for specialty care.

Q: How much does the service cost?

A: B-HIPP does not charge for provider enrollment, and all B-HIPP services are provided free of charge. Consultation and advice may be sought for all children and youth regardless of insurance coverage.

Q: What if I have a question after hours?

A: You can still call 855-MD-BHIPP and leave a message on our secure voicemail. We'll e sure to return your call on the next business day.

Q: What other services does B-HIPP provide?

A: In addition to the phone consultations, B-HIPP ultimately aims to provide training and technical assistance on mental health care within primary care settings. We will post a full schedule of training opportunities as soon as possible. B-HIPP is also working on a pilot program to develop a cadre of social workers able to work as co-located mental health professionals in primary care settings.  This is being developed in conjunction with Salisbury University and initially will be available in select practices on the Lower Shore.

Q: Are there any training requirements to be part of B-HIPP?

A: While we hope that you'll take advantage of the training opportunities we'll begin offering this spring, there aren't any training requirements to be part of B-HIPP. We provide phone consultation, referral, and training opportunities and it's up to you how much you'd like to utilize those services.

Have a question not listed here?

Please contact Program Director, Meghan Crosby Budinger at (410) 955-8699 or mcrosby@jhsph.edu