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Advancing performance measures for use of medications in substance abuse treatment.

Thomas CP, Garnick DW, Horgan CM, McCorry F, Gmyrek A, Chalk M, Gastfriend DR, Rinaldo SG, Albright J, Capoccia VA, Harris AH, Harwood HJ, Greenberg P, Mark TL, Un H, Oros M, Stringer M, Thatcher J. Advancing performance measures for use of medications in substance abuse treatment. Journal of substance abuse treatment. 2011 Jan 1; 40(1):35-43.

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Performance measures have the potential to drive high-quality health care. However, technical and policy challenges exist in developing and implementing measures to assess substance use disorder (SUD) pharmacotherapy. Of critical importance in advancing performance measures for use of SUD pharmacotherapy is the recognition that different measurement approaches may be needed in the public and private sectors and will be determined by the availability of different data collection and monitoring systems. In 2009, the Washington Circle convened a panel of nationally recognized insurers, purchasers, providers, policy makers, and researchers to address this topic. The charge of the panel was to identify opportunities and challenges in advancing use of SUD pharmacotherapy performance measures across a range of systems. This article summarizes those findings by identifying a number of critical themes related to advancing SUD pharmacotherapy performance measures, highlighting examples from the field, and recommending actions for policy makers.

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