Coordination of care among providers is a vital aspect of good treatment planning to help ensure appropriate diagnosis, treatment and referral.  Empire would like to take this opportunity to stress the importance of communicating with your patient’s other health care practitioners. This includes primary care physicians (PCPs) and medical specialists, as well as behavioral health practitioners.


Coordination of care is especially important for patients with high utilization of general medical services and those referred to a behavioral health specialist by another health care practitioner.  Empire urges all of its practitioners to obtain the appropriate permission from these patients to coordinate care between Behavioral Health and other health care practitioners at the time treatment begins.


We expect all health care practitioners to:


  1. Discuss with the patient the importance of communicating with other treating practitioners.
  2. Obtain a signed release from the patient and file a copy in the medical record.
  3. Document in the medical record if the patient refuses to sign a release.
  4. Document in the medical record if you request a consultation.
  5. If you make a referral, transmit necessary information; and if you are furnishing a referral, report appropriate information back to the referring practitioner.
  6. Document evidence of clinical feedback (i.e., consultation report) that includes, but is not limited to:
  • Diagnosis
  • Treatment plan
  • Referrals
  • Psychopharmacological medication (as applicable)


In an effort to facilitate coordination of care, Empire has several tools available on including a Coordination of Care template and cover letters for both Behavioral Health and other Healthcare Practitioners.* In addition, there is a Provider Toolkit on the website with information about Alcohol and Other Drugs which contains brochures, guidelines and patient information.**


*Access to the forms and cover letters are available at > “Find Resources in New York” > Provider Home > Answers@Empire.


**Access to the Toolkit is available at > “Find Resources in New York” > Provider Home > Health and Wellness.

Featured In:
December 2018 Empire Provider Newsletter