Perinatal Psychiatry Access Network offers real-time mental health consultations

Maternal mental health conditions can develop during pregnancy and postpartum and affect 1 in 5 perinatal women. Pregnancy and caring for an infant are periods during which those with preexisting depression and other challenges can suffer worsening of that condition.

Untreated behavioral health problems are among the leading causes of pregnancy-related death in the United States. The good news is that women who get treatment can and do recover.

The short supply of psychiatric specialists has been a significant obstacle that a new statewide initiative seeks to address by supporting providers caring for women by delivering first-line mental health care.

The Texas Legislature established the Perinatal Psychiatry Access Network (PeriPAN), which builds off the massive success of a similar initiative for children’s mental health.

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (also called UT Health San Antonio) is the coordinating site for the 35-county region in South Central Texas. There is no cost to you or your patients for this service available to clinicians statewide.

Why PeriPAN?

PeriPAN is a trusted state-funded program for clinicians who treat pregnant and postpartum mothers with mental health conditions.

PeriPAN consists of a team comprised of 12 academic health-related institutions across the state of Texas, who work together to provide clinicians with peer-to-peer telehealth consultations at no cost.

“PeriPAN is a great resource I use in my clinic. If I have a maternity patient that has mental health needs that are outside of my comfort level, I consult PeriPAN. I can contact a psychiatrist within minutes. I can ask questions after presenting the case to them and then take that information back to my patient. Additionally, their care coordinators can provide vetted, personalized resources in my patient’s community and I can give those resources to my patient. It’s wonderful!”

Emily Briggs, MD, MPH, FAAFP

Who can use PeriPAN?

PeriPAN is available to clinicians who screen or provide care to women receiving prenatal, perinatal, birthing and postpartum care, including:

  • Obstetricians/Gynecologists
  • Pediatricians
  • Family Practice Clinicians
  • Psychiatrists
  • Psychologists
  • Midwives
  • Other Primary Care Clinicians
  • Nurses and other Clinician

What types of PeriPAN support services can providers receive?

  • Help with diagnosing a mental health condition
  • Recommend safe, effective medication as needed
  • Receive resource information for therapy or other services – including the opportunity to consult with a reproductive psychiatrist as needed.
  • Training and education for maternal mental health care
  • Face-to-face or direct consultations may be provided via a psychiatrist as needed.
  • Physicians’ phone consultation may contribute to medical decision-making-based or time-based CPT coding, potentially providing additional compensation for using this service.

How can I enroll in PeriPAN?

Clinicians or clinician administrators can call 888-901-2726 and enroll within 5 minutes. Clinic administrators can also enroll multiple clinicians.

Where can I learn more about PeriPAN?

For more information, call PeriPAN at 888-801-2726, dial 3, then 2, or text 210-866-1103. PeriPAN staff are live on the phones from Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., except on institutional holidays. You can also email or visit their website.

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