NQF backs latest behavioral health quality measures

The National Quality Forum (NQF) announced Nov. 5 it has endorsed 10 behavioral health quality measures, addressing alcohol and tobacco abuse, antipsychotic medication adherence, and post care follow-up after hospitalization for mental illness.

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"Improving behavioral health services and outcomes, especially for individuals suffering from mental illness or substance abuse, is a national priority," said Helen Burstin, MD, senior vice president for performance measures at NQF. "These endorsed measures will be integral to this effort, giving providers new tools to ensure patients receive appropriate, compassionate, and high-quality care."

Peter Briss, MD, medical director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion said the measures were rigorously evaluated by a diverse panel of experts.

"These measures are an important step forward for the healthcare community," said Harold Pincus, MD, professor and vice chair, department of psychiatry, College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University and director of Quality and Outcomes Research at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, and co-chair of the Behavioral Health Endorsement Steering Committee.

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"NQF has endorsed a relatively small number of behavioral health measures in the past; these additional measures will help fill measurement gaps and give us a real opportunity to generate information that will improve care for those in need," Pincus said.

The new measured endorsed by NQF include:
  • 0004: Initiation and Engagement of Alcohol and Other Drug Dependence Treatment (NCQA)
  • 0027: Medical Assistance With Smoking and Tobacco Use Cessation (NCQA)
  • 0028: Preventive Care & Screening: Tobacco Use: Screening & Cessation Intervention (AMA-PCPI)
  • 1879: Adherence to Antipsychotic Medications for Individuals with Schizophrenia (CMS)
  • 1932: Diabetes screening for people with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder who are prescribed antipsychotic medications (SSD) (NCQA)
  • 1927: Cardiovascular health screening for people with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder who are prescribed antipsychotic medications (NCQA)
  • 1933: Cardiovascular health monitoring for people with cardiovascular disease and schizophrenia (SMC) (NCQA)
  • 1934: Diabetes monitoring for people with diabetes and schizophrenia (NCQA)
  • 1937: Follow-Up After Hospitalization for Schizophrenia (7- and 30-day) (NCQA)
  • 0576: Follow-Up After Hospitalization for Mental Illness (NCQA)
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