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Surveying the Landscape of Quality-of-Care Measures for Mental and Substance Use Disorders.

Schmidt EM, Liu P, Combs A, Trafton J, Asch S, Harris AHS. Surveying the Landscape of Quality-of-Care Measures for Mental and Substance Use Disorders. Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.). 2022 Aug 1; 73(8):880-888.

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OBJECTIVE: Quality measures that are used to evaluate health care services have a central role in monitoring and incentivizing quality improvement and the provision of evidence-based treatment. This systematic scan aimed to catalog quality-of-care measures for mental and substance use disorders and assess gaps and redundancies to inform efforts to develop and retire measures. METHODS: Quality measure inventories were analyzed from six organizations that evaluate health care quality in the United States. Measures were included if they were defined via symptoms or diagnoses of mental and substance use disorders or specialty treatments or treatment settings for adults. RESULTS: Of 4,420 measures analyzed, 635 (14%) met inclusion criteria, and 376 unique quality-of-care measure constructs were cataloged and characterized. Symptoms or diagnoses of disorders were most commonly used to define measures (46%, N = 172). Few measures were available for certain disorders (e.g., anxiety disorders), evidence-based treatments (e.g., psychotherapy), and quality domains (e.g., equity). Only one in four measures was endorsed by the National Quality Forum, which independently and critically evaluates quality measures. Among measures that were actively in use for national quality improvement initiatives (N = 319), process measures (57%) were most common, followed by outcome measures (30%), the latter of which focused most often on experience of care. CONCLUSIONS: A vast landscape of mental and substance use disorder quality-of-care measures currently exists, and continued efforts to harmonize duplicative measures and to develop measures for underrepresented evidence-based treatments and quality domains are warranted. The authors recommend reinvesting in a national, centralized system for measure curation, with a stakeholder-centered process for independent measure review and endorsement.

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