Monitoring Psychotropic Medications

In February 2005, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), the Department of State Health Services (DSHS), and the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) released a "best practices" guide to ensure the proper use of psychotropic medications for the children in foster care.

The updated September 2013 Psychotropic Medication Utilization Parameters for Children and Youth in Foster Care is now available. It serves as a resource for physicians and clinicians who care for children diagnosed with mental health disorders. The guide provides recommendations for the appropriate use of psychotropic medications for children in foster care and includes nine criteria indicating need for review of the child's clinical status.

Since April 2008, STAR Health has conducted Psychotropic Medication Utilization Reviews (PMURs) on the children whose medication regimens fall outside of the expectations of the Parameters.The STAR Health PMUR Frequently Asked Questions explains this process and how to request a review.

As a result of the wide use of the Parameters, the prescription patterns of psychotropic medications for Texas children in foster care have improved significantly since 2004 as can be demonstrated by the annual HHSC outcomes report - Update on the Use Of Psychotropic Medications in Texas Foster Children.

Links

  • New Mental Health Problems in Foster Care Children is available from the national Centers for Education and Research (CERTs) providing guidance for foster parents and caretakers regarding children's psychiatric care. Learn more at: ChainOnline.
  • The Health Passport (an electronic record) is available for providers and those making medical decisions for the foster children. It can be accessed at FosterCareTx.com.
  • The Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Drug Formulary also provides useful information regarding medications and is available at DSHS Drug Formulary website.
  • U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) - Medication Guides
  • National Institute of Mental Health - Mental Health Medications

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