The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has issued a new set of quality measures – in the form of a resource manual, technical specifications and data reporting templates – all designed to help states and behavioral health clinics (BHCs) better assess and document their performance and effectiveness in providing treatment to people with mental and/or substance use disorders. These materials were developed in partnership with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation at the Department of Health and Human Services.
The measures contained in the new manual, Metrics and Quality Measures for Behavioral Health Clinics: Technical Specifications and Resource Manual, examine a wide array of criteria that gauge the progress a BHC is achieving in important behavioral health objectives. For example, some measures focus on how well a BHC provides timely access to care. Others focus on the number of suicides that have may have been prevented by certain services or the housing status of people being served.
The manual provides detailed guidance on 32 important quality measures to help states and BHCs identify practices that are successful or that need improvement. The practices cover such areas as the quality, access, and the integration of health care. These quality measures can also be used as the basis for accountability and value-based payments made by states or federal agencies, such as SAMHSA or the CMS.
Although many of the measures were originally developed to monitor care in large health plan systems, the manual is designed to allow uniform monitoring and assessment across states and a variety of BHCs at the BHC level.
Population of focus: Behavioral health clinics
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