NQF Endorses 10 Behavioral Health Measures

The National Quality Forum (NQF) has endorsed 10 quality measures focused on behavioral health, including such issues as alcohol and tobacco abuse, antipsychotic medication adherence, and post care follow-up after hospitalization for mental illness.

Behavioral health refers to a state of mental or emotional being and choices and actions that affect wellness, as defined by SAMHSA. Behavioral health problems include substance abuse or misuse, alcohol and drug addiction, serious psychological distress, suicide, and mental and substance abuse disorders.

Endorsed measures include the following:

  • Initiation and engagement of alcohol and other drug dependence treatment (NCQA)
  • Medical assistance with smoking and tobacco use cessation (NCQA)
  • Preventive care and screening of tobacco use (AMA-PCPI)
  • Adherence to antipsychotic medications for individuals with schizophrenia (CMS)
  • Diabetes screening for people with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder (SSD) (NCQA)
  • Cardiovascular health screening for people with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder who are prescribed antipsychotic medications (NCQA)
  • Cardiovascular health monitoring for people with cardiovascular disease and schizophrenia (SMC) (NCQA)
  • Diabetes monitoring for people with diabetes and schizophrenia (NCQA)
  • Follow-up after hospitalization for schizophrenia (NCQA)
  • Follow-up after hospitalization for mental illness (NCQA)

More than 26 percent of the United States population suffers from mental illness and substance abuse, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). However, the burden of disease lies with six percent of the population who suffer from a serious mental illness. Many of these individuals, whose mental health status can dramatically impact how they engage with and respond to medical treatment, die 25 years earlier than the general population, researchers note.

Source: National Quality Forum (NQF), November 5, 2012

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