The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) is leading a study of adolescent depression care conducted by the National Collaborative for Innovation in Quality Measurement (NCINQ), an AHRQ/CMS/CHIPRA Center of Excellence in Pediatric Quality Measurement funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. NCQA will conduct field tests at its research collaborator sites on a new set of proposed adolescent mental health care quality measures designed specifically to assess various steps in the management and follow up of depression in patients aged ≥ 12 and < 21 years. Each proposed measure targets a specific aspect of evidence-based care for adolescents at risk of or who have depression: follow-up of positive screening; suicide risk assessment; treatment initiation and adjustment; symptom monitoring; care coordination; and remission. The results of this study will be used to modify the technical specifications of the proposed quality measures and to inform other potential measures of adolescent care.
The study will assess the feasibility, reliability and validity of electronic health record (EHR)-based quality measures for the management of adolescent depression in primary and specialty mental health care. NCINQ developed seven draft quality measures for adolescent depression and identified other data needed to assess behavioral and biometric risk factors, such as tobacco use, substance use, high-risk sexual activity, body mass index (BMI), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) status. The results of this study will be used to refine the specifications of these quality measures for their use in federal reporting programs. These results will also inform the development of additional EHR system capabilities to support quality measurement and improvement.