Frequently asked questions
Read the answers to common questions about our care program.
About Prairie Health
What is Prairie Health?
Prairie is a monthly subscription that helps members regain their mental health via personalized treatment, medication management and ongoing support.
Who is eligible to join Prairie?
Prairie Health is available in California to adults (age 18 or older) with depression, mild bipolar, insomnia or anxiety disorders like generalized anxiety disorder, PTSD and panic disorder. For people with ADHD, our team can only prescribe treatment to treat co-morbid anxiety and depression and not the stimulants that are commonly prescribed. (We do not prescribe controlled substances.)
We are not able to support people with the following conditions:
• Borderline personality disorders
• Severe bipolar
• Severe eating disorder(s)
• Severe OCD
• Severe personality disorders
• Schizoaffective disorder
• Suicide attempt(s) in the last 3 years
• Substance abuse
• Unspecified psychosis
We will be expanding to more states and supporting additional conditions over time, so check back frequently.
What's included in my Prairie membership?
Your monthly fee covers the following:
• Your genetic testing kit during the first month
• Regular appointments with a psychiatrist whenever needed
• Unlimited messaging with a Care Partner, Monday to Friday, 9AM-9PM
• Monthly prescription ($15 per medication per month applies when you get your medication delivered)
• Monthly, 30-minute video appointment with your Care Partner, upon request
All packages shipped from Prairie (medication, welcome kit, etc.) are delivered in discreet packaging.
How did Prairie get started?
Prairie was started because of a shared vision of making mental healthcare more accessible and effective, driven by their own mental health struggles and the experiences of their loved ones.
In particular, medication is such a key part of treatment for many people, but the one-size-fits-all approach to prescriptions where trial and error is the norm prevents so many people from recovering.
Prairie was founded to empower everyone to achieve better mental health by reducing all obstacles. To learn more, read our founder Benson's story.
Why does Prairie work with board-certified psychiatrists?
Prairie is committed to providing you the best possible care, which means we only work with the most qualified and experienced mental health specialists: psychiatrists.
While both general practitioners like primary care doctors and psychiatrists are medical doctors, psychiatrists receive an additional 4 years of specialized training in psychiatry after completing medical school. In addition, psychiatrists only see psychiatric cases, whereas other practitioners see many types of patients, increasing psychiatrists’ ability to provide the best possible care.
All psychiatrists working with Prairie are certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurobiology (ABPN).
What does a Care Partner do?
A Care Partner is a mental health professional who acts as your primary touchpoint throughout your care journey. One of your first steps after joining Prairie is to be matched with your dedicated Care Partner.
Care Partners can provide the following care:
• Assess and make a clinical evaluation of your mental health and mental health conditions.
• Make a recommendation on the best course of treatment.
• Perform psychosocial techniques to help relieve anxiety and depression.
• Answer questions about your medication in collaboration with your physician.
While Care Partners are highly-trained and able to provide proactive and reactive mental health support, they are not meant to serve as or replace your therapist. If you are interested in connecting with a therapist, discuss this with your Care Partner.
Learn more about Care Partners
When can I talk with my Care Partner?
Your Care Partner is available for monthly appointments over video or phone to provide more in-depth support in your mental health journey. The monthly appointments are available upon request.
Care Partners are also available via unlimited messaging daily for anything that comes up in between appointments with your care team. Your Care Partner will respond within 3 hours during business days from 9am to 9pm PST and by the end of the day on weekends. Your Care Partner will also provide regular proactive support via text, sharing resources personalized to you and checking in on how you are doing.
How can I get help if I'm in crisis?
Your safety is very important to us. If you are in emotional distress or thinking about harming yourself at any point, please use these resources:
1. Visit: If you are having a medical or mental health emergency, call 911 or go to your local emergency department.
2. Text: The Crisis Text Line provides free, 24-hour, confidential help. Text ‘HOME’ to 741-741 to connect with a counselor immediately.
3. Call: You can call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK to talk with a live counselor 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
There is always help available. We recommend also reaching out to a family member or friend to let them know that you are having these thoughts and ask for help and support.
Genetic Testing with Prairie
Why does Prairie conduct genetic testing?
Different genes mean different responses to medication. Prairie conducts genetic testing via a spit sample in order to help psychiatrists personalize dosing decisions and avoid medications your body will not process well. By doing so, we minimize potentially serious side effects and ensure your care journey is as smooth as possible. Visit our genetic testing page. to learn more about how it works and why we include this in care.
What genetic testing guidelines does Prairie follow?
We firmly believe in evidence-based practices, so our genetic testing adheres to well-supported clinical evidence. Specifically, we provide psychiatrists with information to make dosing decisions and to rule out medications, in line with recommendations by the Association for Molecular Pathology (AMP), the College of American Pathologists (CAP), and the Clinical Pharmacogenetics Implementation Consortium (CPIC).
Prairie does not predict what specific medication(s) will be most effective using genetic testing, since clinical evidence is still limited in that area.
Learn more about how we use genetic testing
How long does the genetic testing take?
Most of our genetic testing reports are generated within 10 days of sample arriving at our laboratory, located in Texas. However, due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic, we are seeing increased wait time of around 2 weeks for certain samples. If you have any questions about the progress of your sample, please feel free to reach out to your Care Partner.
Your Care Partner will let you know via text as soon as your report is made available to us.
How is my genetic information handled?
Your personal information are used to provide your test results, and will be stored in a HIPAA compliant manner. While your information might be used to analyze and improve the lab's services internally, your information will never be shared beyond those entities involved in delivering your genetic testing results, without your consent. For example, the laboratory will never sell, lease, or rent your individual-level protected health information to any third party without your explicit consent. The laboratory will also not use your personal information for research purposes without your consent. However, your information might be provided to law enforcement or regulatory authorities when required by law, or to prevent fraud or cybercrime.
What happens after I sign up?
Here's what happens as soon as you sign up:
1. Match with your Care Partner and schedule your 30-45 minute onboarding. You can find details about what happens during this meeting in the next question.
2. We ship the genetic test as part of your welcome box. Send us back your saliva sample as soon as you can. Please allow up to 1-2 weeks for our lab to produce your report.
3. While your genetic test is processing, meet your psychiatrist to discuss treatment goals and receive a diagnosis (if needed).
4. Once your genetic test results are ready, meeting with your psychiatrist to discuss specific medication options informed by your DNA.
5. We deliver your medication to your door each month.
6. After your first month, continue to meet with your psychiatrist and Care Partner to ensure you are on the right track and treatment is working as expected.
What should I expect during my first meeting with my Care Partner?
The goal for the first meeting is to get to know your Care Partner, ensure Prairie is a good fit and coordinate next steps. Your Care Partner will talk with you about your mental health history, your assessment results and how to best support your goals. In addition, your Care Partner will answer questions you have about Prairie and talk through timelines for your genetic test and subsequent appointments.
Do I need do download any software?
On your desktop
No additional software is required for Prairie. We use HIPAA-compliant video conferencing tool to connect you with your psychiatrist as well as your Care Partner. If you have a camera on your desktop (or laptop), we recommend using it so you can build a strong connection with Prairie’s care team, even when remote.
On your mobile
While text will be your primary mode of communication with your Care Partner, you will also need to install Google Meet in order to meet your care team over video. Search "Google Meet" in the Google Play Store or App Store to download the app. If you have any difficulties using these tools, your Care Partner will be more than happy to assist.
What medications does Prairie prescribe?
Should your psychiatrist decide to prescribe medication, we offer a wide range of FDA-approved, non-controlled medications including SSRIs, NDRIs, SNRIs, and Alpha-Agonists. However, we do not prescribe any controlled substances like benzodiazepines or stimulant ADHD medications (e.g. adderall).
What do I do if I have questions about my medication?
You can ask your Care Partner any questions about your medication. Care Partners are trained mental health professionals with medication management experience, so they will be able to answer many questions directly. For more difficult questions and situations, your Care Partner will consult with your psychiatrist on your behalf, or you can ask your psychiatrist directly during your next scheduled appointment.
Do I need to pay extra if my psychiatrist changes my medication plan?
Changing medications and dosage can be part of finding the right treatment in mental health care, though you can expect this less often with Prairie because of our personalized treatment approach. Your copay is $15 per medication, so you will only pay more if your psychiatrist prescribes additional medications. Your psychiatrist’s time is already included in your ongoing care membership.
How fast can Prairie send my medication?
We primarily use USPS First Class mail to securely deliver your medication, which typically takes 1-3 days. Expedited shipping is available upon request. Because we deliver your medication before your previous prescription runs out, you gain that much more peace of mind.
Orders & Payment
How does Prairie work with my insurance?
Prairie does not accept health insurance at this time, including Medicare and Medicaid. Members are solely responsible for payment. However, members may be able to use their insurance to cover their medication copay if they decide to opt out of medication delivery and use their own pharmacy.
When will I be charged my monthly membership fee?
You will be charged your first month’s fee upon signup, either over the phone or through our website and charged in subsequent months based on your signup date.
What is Prairie's policy on cancellation and refunds?
You may cancel your plan at any time. You may do so by contacting your Care Partner directly, or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You will not see any more subscription fee charges unless you restart your subscription with Prairie Health. If you cancel with time left in your billing period, you’ll have access to our service for the remainder of the billing cycle.
You may request for a refund in subscription fee only if you have not utilized any services for the month. This may include but is not limited to: conducting an appointment with your Care Partner, conducting an appointment with your psychiatrist, and ordering/receiving medication. If you have utilized any of the services in the billing cycle, you are not eligible for a refund. However, you will have access to our service for the remainder of the billing cycle.
All transactions for medication co-pay are final and non-refundable.
What if I need to cancel or reschedule my appointment?
Reach out to your Care Partner to cancel or reschedule your appointments. If you need to cancel or reschedule your psychiatry appointment, we request that you cancel or reschedule your appointment at least 24 hours in advance. Cancellations or rescheduling less than 24 hours prior to your monthly psychiatrist call will be charged $30. We charge this nominal fee to respect your psychiatrist’s time and ensure their time is focused on supporting patients.
There's an issue with the delivery of my genetic test or medication. What do I do?
Reach out to your Care Partner or contact email@example.com. We’ll work with you to figure out what happened and send you a replacement as soon as possible.