Collaborative Care

American Well works with health plans who may cover your behavioral health visit. Choose your health plan from the list below and create an account for our online behavioral health services.

Choose your insurance plan to access our psychiatric services

Learn more about our new psychiatry model for collaborative care

For Patients

For Providers

Our Psychiatry services model is one of collaborative care, which means we care for you in coordination with your primary care provider. We’ve chosen this integrated approach because it provides the best quality of care and most improves your overall health.

Reasons for our collaborative approach:

  • Safety - Due to a federal regulation, The Ryan Haight Act of 2008, telehealth providers are unable to prescribe controlled substances to patients in their homes. When appropriate, we will provide recommendations to your PCP and request they prescribe these medications for you to help avoid duplication, excessive use, and medication conflicts.
  • Wellness – Studies show that your overall health can be most improved by coordinating your mental and physical health care. We also provide talk therapy to help you achieve optimal wellness.
  • Efficiency – Health care costs and inconveniences rise due to poor communication between providers. To manage your conditions responsibly, laboratory and diagnostic testing are occasionally needed for accurate diagnosis or ongoing monitoring. These recommendations will be made to your PCP, again avoiding duplication of tests and saving you time and money.

Your next steps:

  1. Call your primary care provider’s office and obtain their office fax number. You will need to enter your doctor’s fax number on our platform to enable us to coordinate your care.
  2. Inform the office that you will be getting your psychiatric care online and let them know that your psychiatrist will send a visit note outlining your treatment plan. Advocate for yourself by explaining that you would like your PCP to work with your psychiatric provider, who will be available to discuss your care with them anytime.
Collaborative Care - Patients

How to get started using collaborative care

Call your primary care provider and inform them you will be getting your psychiatric care online. Find out if your doctor will be willing to consider ordering any testing and/or prescribing any controlled substances we may recommend. You will need to obtain and enter your doctor's fax number on our platform to enable us to coordinate your care.

Access to Care

Take advantage of online psychiatric care with the help and coordination of your primary care provider.

Treatment Notes

Your doctor will receive a faxed note documenting your diagnosis and treatment plan after every visit.

Visit Requests*

On occasion, the faxed note may contain specific treatment recommendations or requests for your primary care provider.

Feel Better

Thank you for entrusting us with your care, and we look forward to getting you well in collaboration with your primary care doctor.

* These may be about making a referral to another specialist (e.g. sleep specialist, neurologist, endocrinologist, or rheumatologist), prescribing a controlled substance, or ordering diagnostic or monitoring labs or testing, and will always be accompanied by our experts’ clinical rationale.

Our Psychiatry services model is one of collaborative care, meaning we seek to care for your patients in coordination with you. We’ve chosen this integrated approach because it provides the best quality of care and maximally improves your patients’ overall health.

Why we want to work with you:

  • Support & Education – We realize that PCPs deliver approximately 85% of the psychiatric care due to poor access to psychiatric providers and also as a function of your primary relationship with your patients. We want to support you by making Board-Certified specialists more available to you and your patients through our online platform.
  • Communication & Collaboration – Our psychiatry service goes beyond merely keeping you in the loop, but rather fully partners with you in your patients’ care by providing you recommendations about controlled medication prescribing, diagnostic and laboratory testing, and specialist referrals for you to carry out as you deem appropriate. You will have the peace of mind in knowing that controlled substance prescribing is only being done by you, based on our specialists’ documented evaluations and recommendations, and also that a psychiatric provider is always available to discuss your patients’ care.
  • Protect & Comply – We care about the liability the comes with getting your patients’ psychiatric needs met. Not treating your patients’ psychiatric illnesses puts you at risk, as does providing care that may be arguably outside of your scope of expertise. By collaborating with our Board-Certified psychiatrists, your patients’ care is supported by an expert. The days of not knowing what psychiatric medications your patients are taking and why are over, making your practice safer and more complaint.

What you can expect from us:

  • Access – Your patients will be seen by a Board-Certified psychiatrist within 2 weeks.
  • Notes – You will get a note documenting their diagnosis and treatment plan faxed to your office after every visit.
  • Requests – On occasion, the note may contain specific recommendations or requests for you to consider carrying out. These requests will always be accompanied by our experts’ clinical rationale.

Referring is as easy as 1, 2, 3:

  1. Provide your patient with your office fax number, which they will enter on our platform to activate the collaborative process.
  2. Instruct your patient to go to americanwell.com/collaborative-care/ and select their insurance, this will direct them to the appropriate platform where they are most likely to be covered. Exact coverage will vary by the specific plan the patient has.
  3. Your patient will create an account on the platform and enter your fax number during the visit intake process.

We thank you for entrusting us with your patient’s care, and look forward to collaborating with you!

Collaborative Care - Providers

What to expect with patient referrals

Simply refer your patient using your office fax number and have them visit americanwell.com/collaborative-care/ to select their insurance carrier.

Access to Care

When you refer to Amwell psychiatrists, your patients will be seen by a Board-Certified specialist within 2 weeks.

Treatment Notes

You will get a note documenting their diagnosis and treatment plan faxed to your office after every visit.

Visit Requests*

On occasion, the note may contain specific recommendations or requests for you to consider carrying out.

Partner with Us

Thank you for entrusting us with your patient’s care, we look forward to working with you to get your patients well.

* These may be about making a referral to another specialist (e.g. sleep specialist, neurologist, endocrinologist, or rheumatologist), prescribing a controlled substance, or ordering diagnostic or monitoring labs or testing, and will always be accompanied by our experts’ clinical rationale.

Frequently asked questions

  • What do we mean by Collaborative Care Psychiatry?

    Collaborative Care Psychiatry is when our psychiatrist cares for you in coordination and partnership with your primary care provider. Another term for this is Integrated Care.

  • Why do we recommend collaborative psychiatry?

    Because doing so provides you with the highest quality care and most improves your overall health. Other important reasons to receive psychiatric care this way are safety, wellness, and efficiency.

  • Why is collaborative psychiatry safer for me?

    In this model, there is more responsible oversight of controlled substance prescriptions, which is important due to their potential for addiction and the risks of combining controlled substances with other medications. Controlled substances being prescribed by more than one provider is a common occurrence, but can easily be avoided by us collaborating with your primary care provider. When appropriate, we will provide our recommendations to them and request that they prescribe you these types of medications in order to help avoid duplication of prescriptions, excessive use of the medications, and medication conflicts.

  • Why will I get more fully well with collaborative psychiatry?

    Studies repeatedly show that your overall health can be most improved by coordinating your mental and physical health care. Also, we realize that sometimes controlled substances are necessary to treat your condition, and we want you to receive the optimal treatment rather than offering you an alternative or second choice medication. As part of our collaborative approach, we may also recommend nutrition and/or talk therapy services to help you achieve optimal wellness.

  • Why is collaborative psychiatry more efficient?

    Health care costs and inconveniences are rising due largely to redundancy of services caused by poor communication between providers. To manage your conditions responsibly, laboratory and diagnostic testing and specialist referrals are occasionally needed either for accurate diagnosis or ongoing monitoring. As with controlled substances, these recommendations will be made and carried out through your primary care provider, again avoiding duplication of tests and providing the best coordination of your care.

  • What is the role of the psychiatrist in the collaborative care?

    The psychiatrist will perform the initial psychiatric evaluation and all follow up visits with you, make a diagnosis and revise it as necessary over time, and prescribe you the psychiatric medications needed to get you well. With your permission, after each visit he will send a copy of the visit note to your primary care provider so they know what medications have been prescribed for you. The only medications the psychiatrist will not prescribe to you directly are any controlled substances, but he can recommend in his note that your primary care provider prescribe those for you. Other things the psychiatrist may recommend to your primary care provider are to order any lab tests, diagnostic studies, or specialist referrals that the psychiatrist may feel are important in managing your condition.

  • What are controlled substance medications?

    Certain medication that are potentially addictive are considered “controlled”, and can only be prescribed by a provider who has met you in person first, as per the federal regulation, The Ryan Haight Act of 2008. Examples of controlled medications are:

    • Benzodiazepines - used for anxiety, panic, sleep disorders, tremors, and seizures - include medications such as Xanax, Ativan, Restoril, Valium, Klonopin, and Librium
    • Hypnotics - used for insomnia - include medications such as Ambien, Ambien CR, Lunesta, and Sonata
    • Stimulants - used for ADD/ADHD, fatigue, depression, cognitive issues, and narcolepsy - include medications such as Dextroamphetamine, Adderall, Vyvanse, Dexedrine, Methylphendiate, Ritalin, Concerta, Focalin, Provigil, and Nuvigil
    • Opioids, used for pain, and will not generally be recommended by psychiatrists
  • How might I get controlled medications from my primary care provider?

    Once your primary care provider has received the visit note from your psychiatrist recommending these medications be prescribed for you, you can call your primary care provider’s office and see if they will call those medications into your pharmacy for you to pick up. Your primary care provider may want you to schedule and come in for a visit with them first before they will prescribe these medications in some cases. In other cases, you may find that your primary care provider does not want to work collaboratively and does not agree to help you in this way. Should this be the case, one option is to consider finding a primary care provider who believes in collaborative care, wants to see that you get the help you need, and is willing to be part of this safe and thoughtful process.

  • What is my primary care provider’s role in this collaboration?

    The primary care provider’s role in collaborating with the psychiatrist is to receive and review the visit noted sent by your psychiatrist, and consider following the recommendations that have been made. These recommendations may include prescribing a controlled medication, ordering laboratory or diagnostic tests, and making a referral to a specialist for evaluation of other possible relevant conditions. The primary care doctor will see that copies of all such tests and evaluations are sent back to the psychiatrist for his record. Finally, if the primary care provider has any concerns over how the psychiatric medications may be affecting your physical health or other medical medications, he will communicate this to your psychiatrist for his consideration.

  • How do my psychiatrist and primary care provider communicate with each other?

    Besides regularly sharing notes and test results back and forth, there will be a secure voicemail line for your psychiatrist that your primary care provider will have access to allowing them to either speak on the phone or leave each other messages. It is very important that you do not use this voicemail to communicate with your psychiatrist, as it is for primary care providers only and using it may prevent other doctors from being able to communicate with our psychiatrists. Please be aware that your psychiatrist will not respond to messages left on this line by patients.

  • How do I receive this collaborative psychiatric care?

    Call your primary care provider’s office and obtain their office fax number. You will need to enter your doctor’s fax number on our platform to enable us to coordinate your care. When you call your primary care provider’s office, inform the office that you will be getting your psychiatric care online and that they will be getting a note from your psychiatric visit outlining your diagnosis and treatment plan which may contain specific requests for your primary care provider. Advocate for yourself by explaining that you would like for them to work together with your psychiatric provider, who will be available to discuss your care with them anytime.

  • What if I don’t currently have a primary care provider or I find that the one I have doesn’t want to work with me in this way?

    You can still receive psychiatric care with us even if you don’t have a family doctor. However, without this collaboration, we won’t be able to prescribe you any controlled medications should you need them.

    If you do have a primary care provider but find that they do not support a collaborative approach, your best option may be to find one that does. You deserve a provider that cares about your overall health and wellness, wants to see that you get the help you need, and is interested in being an active part of a safe and thoughtful process that has proven to achieve the best outcomes.

  • Is there any additional cost for getting collaborative psychiatric care?

    There is no additional cost to get all of the many benefits of our collaborative care psychiatry.