Reducing the costs of care
The Psychiatric Assistance Line helps primary care clinicians offer treatment for psychiatric disorders in the primary care setting. This reduces the need to make a referral to a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, which can take months, and can also help avoid the expenses of sub-specialty care. While in some cases a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist may be necessary along with other specialty clinicians, PAL expands the overall scope of psychiatric disorders that can be treated in the primary care setting.
When children and adolescents need to be referred to specialty care for treatment options - the costs for that care may range in the hundreds to thousands of dollars for guarantors and insurance companies. An additional 30% can be added to those costs in lost productivity for care givers (time off from work, traveling to appointments, etc.). While these treatment options may be quite appropriate in certain cases, the ability to provide treatment in the primary care setting when appropriate can avoid these costs and the challenges that come with referral to outside clinicians.
It is estimated that each PAL consultation can reduce the costs of overall care by an average of $3,538 per patient.