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Behavioral Health Specialist

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Job ID: 179296
Category: Social Work
Work Type: FT
Location: Exton, PA, United States
Work Schedule: Day

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Penn Medicine is dedicated to our tripartite mission of providing the highest level of care to patients, conducting innovative research, and educating future leaders in the field of medicine. Working for this leading academic medical center means collaboration with top clinical, technical and business professionals across all disciplines.

Today at Penn Medicine, someone will make a breakthrough. Someone will heal a heart, deliver hopeful news, and give comfort and reassurance. Our employees shape our future each day. Are you living your life's work?

Entity: Penn Primary Care and Penn Specialty Practices

Department: Penn Integrated Care

Location: Exton, PA

Hours: Per Departmental Needs


  • The Behavioral Health Specialist is a core member of the collaborative care team, including the patient's medical provider and psychiatric consultant, as well as the larger primary care team or medical team. The Behavioral Health Specialist is responsible for supporting and coordinating the mental and physical health care of assigned patients in conjunction with the patient's medical provider and, when appropriate, other behavioral health providers.


  • Assess patients for common mental health and substance use disorders using structured behavioral health assessment and monitoring tools.
  • Risk-stratify and refer patients to appropriate level of care, including collaborative care, specialty care, and crisis intervention.
  • Closely coordinate care with the patient’s medical provider and, when appropriate, other behavioral health providers.
  • Systematically track treatment response and monitor patients (in person or by telephone) for changes in clinical symptoms and treatment side effects or complications.
  • Support medical providers’ adherence to behavioral health evidence-based practice guidelines.
  • Provide recommendations for psychotropic medication management as reviewed by primary care provider or a consulting psychiatrist taking into account adherence monitoring, side effects, and effectiveness of treatment.
  • Provide brief behavioral interventions using evidence-based techniques such as behavioral activation, brief alcohol interventions, problem-solving treatment, motivational interviewing, or other treatments as appropriate.
  • Provide short-term cognitive behavioral therapy when deemed appropriate and necessary by primary medical team and consulting psychiatrist.
  • Facilitate in-clinic or outside referrals to evidence-based psychosocial treatments as clinically indicated.
  • Provide patient education about common mental health and substance abuse disorders and the available treatment options.
  • Participate in regularly scheduled caseload consultation with the psychiatric consultant and communicate resulting treatment recommendations to the patient’s medical provider through appropriate chart documentation and other forms of communication.
  • Encourage patient engagement, treatment adherence, and commitment to follow-up care.
  • Organize & maintain clinical case management information (protected health information) in an electronic database and track patient follow up and clinical outcomes.
  • Document patient progress and treatment recommendations in EHR and other required systems so as to be shared with medical providers, psychiatric consultant, and other treating providers. Meet regulatory and compliance standards for documentation.
  • Facilitate treatment plan changes for patients who are not improving as expected in consultation with the medical provider and the psychiatric consultant and who may need more intensive or more specialized mental health care.
  • Facilitate referrals for clinically indicated services outside of the organization (e.g., social services such as housing assistance, vocational rehabilitation, mental health specialty care, substance abuse treatment).
  • Develop and complete relapse prevention self-management plan with patients who have achieved their treatment goals and are soon to be discharged from the caseload.
  • Review all cases in which care has lasted longer than 6 months for appropriate termination or referral to a higher level of care.
  • Participate in QI and other practice improvement initiatives.
  • Supervise social work students and other trainees in the conduct of evidence-based therapies.
  • Performs duties in accordance with Penn Medicine and entity values, policies, and procedures.
  • Other duties as assigned to support the unit, department, entity, and health system organization.


  • LCSW or LSW Required

Education or Equivalent Experience:

  • Master of Arts or Science (Required)
  • 2+ years clinical experience providing crisis and/or utilization management services required 
  • 0-1 years behavioral health care industry experience; experience with assessment and treatment planning for common mental health and/or substance use disorders; experience with evidence-based counseling techniques is preferred

We believe that the best care for our patients starts with the best care for our employees. Our employee benefits programs help our employees get healthy and stay healthy. We offer a comprehensive compensation and benefits program that includes one of the finest prepaid tuition assistance programs in the region. Penn Medicine employees are actively engaged and committed to our mission. Together we will continue to make medical advances that help people live longer, healthier lives.

Live Your Life's Work

We are an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer. Candidates are considered for employment without regard to race, ethnicity, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, marital status, familial status, genetic information, domestic or sexual violence victim status, citizenship status, military status, status as a protected veteran or any other status protected by applicable law.

   Current UPHS employees must apply HERE
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