Primary Care Psychiatry is a program that allows children who are experiencing emotional or behavioral health concerns to receive basic psychiatric care within their medical home. You may be referred by one of our providers if you are a patient at Potomac Pediatrics. Dr. Lauren Zohler, a board-certified pediatric psychiatrist, will evaluate your child and initiate a treatment plan. Evaluations may include multiple visits and/or testing using standardized tools. Treatment plans may include medications, referrals for therapy or even referrals to a specialist psychiatrist. Ideally, once your child is stabilized, ongoing care will be provided by your doctor at Potomac Pediatrics.
Candidates for this service include:
- Patients who are currently seeing a psychiatrist and are stable on their current medications and can safely transfer to the primary care setting (see a list of medicines which do not fit into this category).
- Patients with symptoms of anger, sadness, irritability, worries or school performance issues that need an initial assessment.
- Patients with ADHD who are currently being treated by our physicians and are not responding adequately to medication.
How does it work?
To be considered for our program your Potomac Pediatrics primary care provider (PCP) must directly refer you to see Dr. Zohler. This program is exclusive to existing patients that have an established medical history with Potomac Pediatrics. Non-patients looking to switch to Potomac Pediatrics to gain access to this service will not be accepted nor referred to Dr. Zohler.
Once referred, Dr. Lauren Zohler, our psychiatrist, will evaluate your child, confirm the diagnosis, if one exists, and develop a treatment plan. The next steps will either be follow up visits with her or transfer back to your pediatrician with treatment plan recommendations. Patients referred to the psychiatrist who has significant ongoing diagnostic or therapeutic challenges will be ineligible for our services and will be referred to an outside psychiatrist or other mental health providers. Our goal is to stabilize your child on the new treatment regimen and transfer them back to their pediatrician who will oversee their continued treatment.
Private patient discussions are confidential and protected under the law, they will not be shared with the parent unless Dr. Zohler is concerned for the patient’s safety.
The following medications are not appropriate for our Primary Care Psychiatry program:
- We are currently are credentialed with the following insurance companies: CareFirst, Aetna, Cigna, and United Healthcare. Your visit will be subject to specialist copays, deductibles, and/or coinsurance per your individual policy. Practice policies regarding copays and deductible deposits due at the time of service will apply. Please note that we can’t guarantee benefit coverage for primary care psychiatry services and it is the patients’ responsibility to verify if their policy offers mental health benefits.
- Once claims are processed to your insurance and received back you will receive a statement in your child patient portal account for any additional balances due or your credit card will be refunded any account credit minus any copay, deductibles, or coinsurance that is assigned to patient responsibility.
- Please be advised that some plans have a specific behavioral health network associated with their benefits. We can’t guarantee that our primary psychiatry provider will be considered in-network. If your claim is processed out of network, you will be responsible for the balance due per your out of network benefits.
- Patients who do not have mental health benefits will be considered self-pay and payment will be due upon check-in.