Care plan for mental health patients

Updated July 20, 2017

A mental health care plan is a reference document that is written for a person experiencing a condition or illness for more than six months and who is being treated by more than one care provider for the condition or illness.The plan is established in writing to ensure that every person associated with the plan, including the patient, knows when, where and by whom treatment processes will be conducted and to gain support from all involved.

The Plan

The plan should: • Address the mental health needs of the patient • Name specific providers included in the plan • The role of each provider within the plan • Expected outcome for the patient and providers • Best treatments and methods for the patient to achieve outcome The plan can take an hour or more than a day to complete, depending upon the individual and the care providers. The copy of the completed plan is given to the care providers and any other person or provider the patient thinks is necessary to achieve success.

Things to consider

A mental health care plan is not free. The care plan is written during a visit consultation that the providers bill. This consultation may be covered by a health-insurance plan. Medicare, if the patient is 65 or older or on qualified disability, will cover some of the cost for a care plan consultation visit.

The recipient of the care plan has full say and is able to voice opinions of what is included in the care plan and what will be shared with others who view the care plan. The provider who writes the care plan must get consent from the recipient and share with the recipient their rights and responsibilities.

The care plan should be reviewed by the recipient and all the caregivers every three months or so for consistency and relevant treatment choices. A new care plan can be developed every 12 months or when there is a change in caregivers.

The benefit of having a care plan is the patient easily takes an initiative and an active process within his or her care. The patient is able to monitor the progress of reaching the expected outcomes and make changes, if necessary. The care plan houses emergency contact information that otherwise may not have been known.

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About the Author

Traina Clarke writes for the local Examiner in Baltimore. She is the resident expert on health care and health insurance for the online periodical. A lot of the information she writes about is based on her 20 years of health care industry experience in insurance and physician bills.