FAQs for Providers and Patients:


Q: I am an OB/GYN/Family Medicine/Pediatric physician. Can I do screening, even though I do not have a mental health background? Can my staff?

A: Absolutely! Anyone in the clinic can screen. The recommended screening, the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, is free and available for download online. You do not need to be a mental health professional to use this tool.

If you would like additional information about screening and how to implement it in your practice, the MN Department of Health created a wonderful booklet about that!  

Here’s the link:

Clinical Guidelines for Implementing Postpartum Depression Screening in Well Child Visits

Q: Can I bill for administering screening to the mother/father in a pediatric setting?

Yes!!! It is recommended that new parents can and should be screened at the well-child check, as this is often the first time parents are being seen by a doctor.

Effective January 1, 2017, when you perform these screenings, you’ll select from the following two new codes:

Patient focused: 96160, Administration of patient-focused health risk assessment instrument (e.g., health hazard appraisal) with scoring and documentation, per standardized instrument

Caregiver focused: 96161, Administration of caregiver-focused health risk assessment instrument (e.g., depression inventory) for the benefit of the patient, with scoring and documentation, per standardized instrument.

These replace CPT code 99420.

This article does a wonderful job explaining why it is important to be screening not just new moms, but also dads and partners!

If you would like us to help you develop an algorithm regarding incorporating screening into your practice, please send us an email at info@ppsupportmn.org.

Q:  If I get a positive screen (13+ on the EPDS, or 9+ on the PHQ-9) on my patient, what should I do?

If you get a positive screen use that to begin a dialogue with mom:

  • Discuss any items that seem troubling to you, or need clarification
    • Example: Mom indicates that she is having difficulty sleeping. You could ask, “Are you having a hard time getting enough sleep because the baby is waking you, or are you finding it difficult to sleep when the baby is sleeping?”
  • Discuss her willingness to seek therapy or support. If she is willing, it increases likelihood of follow-through to contact the PPSM HelpLine or a known provider on their behalf, as some moms feel overwhelmed with reaching out for help.
  • If she is not willing to see a therapist, suggest that she contact the PPSM Helpline (call, email or text), join the PPSM Facebook Support Group for moms, or ask if she would be willing to have a therapist call her to discuss concerns. There are additional Community Resources on the PPSM Website, under “Get Help”.
  • This link includes information about assessment (the EPDS) in other languages. Click here.

Q: Why should I refer to the providers on the PPSM list versus other providers in the metro area?

A: If you have a trusted provider that you have worked with, please refer your patient to that provider. We have found, by talking with providers, that this is often not the case.  

PPSM has a resource list of vetted providers in the Twin Cities who have advanced training in treating PMADs.  Providers on our list commit to seeing patients within a few days of referral, and if this is not possible, to find one who can.  All providers are willing to receive email, phone calls, text or fax regarding referrals and can consult regarding clients who might be hesitant to seek treatment.  In addition, our psychiatric providers have demonstrated competency in the safety of prescribing psychotropic medications to pregnant or lactating women.

Our resource list can be found on our website at http://ppsupportmn.org .  Providers are listed in alphabetical order and can be filtered by location.

Q: I am concerned that my patient has a history of trauma. Is there information I can give her about risk, specifically about postpartum mental health or PTSD? What if her birth experience did not go as planned, or was traumatic?

A: Yes! We have created the Risk Factors Checklist. Did you know, this is one of the top comments we hear from moms- that they wish they had known they were at risk for a PMAD or reactivating trauma? Or perhaps their birth did not go as well as they anticipated, and they are experiencing symptoms of PTSD due to their experience. This handout would be helpful for those moms too.

It can also be helpful to make sure her partner or support person receives this information in advance so that he/she can be aware of the risks. As I am sure you know, patients often do not disclose trauma, or minimize the impact of past experiences, so giving them this information can be very helpful if there is something they are not sharing with you.

Mental Health Emergency?  
  Go to the nearest Emergency Room
       Call 911      NAMI MN Crisis Resources (click here).

PPSM (PSI-MN) Mailing address:
701 Washington Ave N
Ste 111-167
Minneapolis 55401

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