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This handout explains how we at UW Health care for your mental health in the primary care setting.

Collaborative Care

Collaborative care is a team approach used to treat common mental health problems. The team includes:

  • Your primary care provider (doctor, physician assistant or nurse practitioner) 

  • A behavioral health clinician 

  • A team psychiatrist 

  • You

You and your team meet often and update your plan as needed. 

Why use this approach?

Research shows that this is the best way to help those with depression or anxiety feel better faster. 

Where does it take place?

All care takes place at your primary care clinic.

How does it work?

You and your team decide how to best treat your depression or anxiety. Treatment can include medicine, lifestyle changes or counseling. If the first plan does not work, your team helps you to make changes.

It is very common to change your plan at least once. Your team is there to support you and help you find the best plan for you. Our goal is to help improve the symptoms that bother you the most by at least 50% within 10-12 weeks. This will help you get back to doing the things you used to enjoy.

Your behavioral health clinician will call you every 1-4 weeks to check in and see how you are feeling. You will also meet in person on a routine basis.

PHQ-9 and/or GAD-7 

The PHQ-9 is a survey that asks nine questions. The answers help your team to diagnose depression and see how treatment is going.

The GAD-7 is a survey that asks seven questions. The answers help your team to diagnose anxiety. It also helps to see how treatment is going.

You can fill out these forms by yourself. If preferred, your care provider can go over them with you. You will fill out the survey(s) every time you meet or talk with your behavioral health clinician.

Key Questions to Ask Your Insurance Company

Call your insurance company. You can find their phone number or website on the back of your insurance card.

Ask about your out-of-pocket outpatient costs for your Behavioral Health Benefit at UW Health. These costs may include co-pays, coinsurance or deductibles.

  • Will my behavioral health outpatient benefit cover me to be seen at my primary care clinic?

  • What will my out-of-pocket cost be?

  • Is there a limit on the number of visits?

  • Do you require authorization for services?

CPT Codes

Your insurance may ask you about “CPT” codes. These are some CPT code charges:

  • 90832

  • 90834

  • 90837

  • 90839

  • 90840

  • 90785

  • 99492

  • 99493

  • 99494