Preferred Prescriber Program

The Preferred Prescriber Program started in Allegheny County in 2004. It was created to make best practice psychological and psychiatric evaluations better for children and young adults who get Behavioral Health Rehabilitation Services (BHRS).

BHRS are also called “wraparound” services. A licensed psychologist or doctor who has evaluated the child and recommended these services can prescribe BHRS. When the psychologist or doctor recommends BHRS, they write a best practice evaluation (BPE) report.

In the Preferred Prescriber Program, we:

  • Make sure prescribers provide high-quality evaluations
  • Review evaluations completed by the prescriber
  • Perform ongoing quality and compliance reviews
  • Keep track of the prescribers' participation in interagency service planning team meetings
  • Require that preferred prescribers go to trainings to help keep their evaluations of high quality

What are the goals of the Preferred Prescriber Program?

  • Ensure members have high-quality best practice evaluations
  • Improve BHRS prescribers' knowledge and practice in the following areas:
  1. Understanding all levels of care for children
  2. Applying Child and Adolescent Service System Program (CASSP) principles to recommendations and service planning
    1. The core CASSP principles are to make services:
      1. Child-centered
      2. Family-focused
      3. Community-based
      4. Multi-system
      5. Culturally competent
      6. Least restrictive/least intrusive
  3. Understanding Medical Necessity Criteria for BHRS (what is the most appropriate service that best meets the needs of the child or youth and is the least intrusive/least restrictive option)
  4. Working with the BHRS team and other child-serving systems, including juvenile probation, Children, Youth, and Families (CYF), and education systems
  5. Participating in the interagency team meetings for clinical direction and input


We re-evaluate preferred prescribers on an ongoing basis to make sure they continue to meet our high standards. We give preferred prescribers feedback every month about any quality issues or concerns. New applicants are encouraged and allowed to apply every year to become a preferred prescriber.