Significant mental health impacts on kids during the COVID-19 pandemic mean services like the Partnership Access Line (PAL) hotline are more important than ever. PAL supports the PCP community in treating their pediatric patients in several ways:

  1. Specialized support in all areas of child and adolescent mental health to community prescribers that lack resources and cannot complete a care plan
  2. Rapid access to in-person or telemedicine consultations for any child with Medicaid coverage; eligibility determined during a PAL call
  3. Mental health resource support for PCPs and expansion resource support for families
  4. Evidence-supported mental health training for primary care providers with Category 1 CME credit
  5. Publishes Primary Care Principles for Child Mental Health manual containing evidence-supported care guidelines for treating providers

PAL receives over 2,000 calls annually and on average serves 250 new providers each year. According to surveys conducted after each call, PAL users rate the service highly:

  • “I have increased my mental health care skills” – average score of 4.8 on a scale of 1 to 5
  • “Have seen my patients’ outcomes improve” – average score of 4.8 on a scale of 1 to 5

The PAL program is funded by Washington’s Health Care Authority and is available during regular business hours to providers caring for any patient in Washington, regardless of insurance type. The phone consultation is covered by HIPAA, section 45 CFR 164.506; no additional release of patient information is required to consult by phone.

PAL cannot:

  • Help a provider whose patient is actively in crisis. Call 911.
  • Help providers admit a patient to Seattle Children’s/Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine Program.
  • Speak to families directly; it is for providers only.

Related resources

Adult programs offered in partnership with the University of Washington:

  • Perinatal Psychiatry Consultation Line for Providers: PAL for Moms is a free state-funded program providing perinatal mental health consultation, recommendations and referrals for providers in Washington state caring for pregnant or postpartum patients.
  • Psychiatry Consultation Line (PCL): The PCL offers prescribing healthcare providers in Washington state the opportunity to consult with a UW psychiatrist about adult patients (18+) with mental health issues or regarding general questions related to mental health and psychiatric care.