For Referrers

Thank you for considering referring your patient to Sheppard Pratt Health System. We offer a breadth of services to treat many mental health conditions, substance use disorders, and developmental disabilities.

At Sheppard Pratt, we work to ensure a smooth referral and transition process to help your patient find the right care they need to heal and recover.

Hospital Admissions Process

All patients coming to the hospital must be seen face-to-face by a licensed mental health professional in the 24 hours directly preceding admissions. This could be a psychiatrist, a psychologist, a licensed social worker, or a psychiatric nurse practitioner. If a patient is being certified, the licensed mental health professional who evaluates the patient prior to admission must be licensed in the state of Maryland.

The first question our admissions team will ask you is whether the patient is a danger to themselves or others. This will help us determine if the patient needs to go to an ER, or if they can come directly to Sheppard Pratt for admission.

Some of the other questions you should be prepared to answer when working with a member of our admissions team include:

  • Where is the patient?
  • How old is your patient?
  • What is your patient’s diagnosis? 
  • What are the current symptoms they are experiencing?
  • Is your patient on any medications? What dosages are they receiving?
  • What level of care are you looking for, and what behaviors or symptoms necessitate that level of care?
  • What kind of family involvement does the patient have?
  • Is there anything going on in their family life that our team should know about?
  • Does the patient have any medical problems we need to know about?
  • Is the patient experiencing any substance use problems?

Insurance Information

We participate with Maryland Medicaid and Medicare and many major insurance companies (including CareFirst, CIGNA, Aetna, United Healthcare, and Kaiser). Because of variations between policies, it is best to contact the patient’s insurer directly to determine whether we are in network for their plan.

For individuals coming to Sheppard Pratt from other states, many insurance companies will do a single case agreement with us for inpatient services only. 

We do accept self-pay patients at Sheppard Pratt as well.

Discharge Information

As patients prepare to discharge from our inpatient and partial hospitalization programs, a dedicated discharge coordinator or social worker will develop a comprehensive discharge plan. This discharge plan ensures that the patient has adequate and appropriate care when they are back home.

Whenever possible and beneficial for the patient, our clinical team will ensure that you, the referrer, are a part of the patient’s discharge plan, and will keep you informed and up-to-date on the patient’s progress.


Referring to Other Programs within Sheppard Pratt Health System

Referral information for programs and services that are not hospital-based can be found on the individual program pages. Use the Care Finder to find the right program for your patient. 

Care & Services

Dozens of services are at your fingertips. Discover all of the care options available to you through Sheppard Pratt.