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Stephen Crystal and Colleagues Play Key Role in Development of Proposed New HEDIS Measures

The release of the new national HEDIS measures on “Safe and Judicious Antipsychotic Use in Children and Adolescents” for public comment by NCQA draws on the research of Stephen Crystal and colleagues, leaders in the MEDNET consortium and the Rutgers CERTs, who along with partner states and collaborators developed and tested the evidence-based practices in multi-state mental health authorities. Development of the new metrics into proposed national quality metrics has been the product of cooperative efforts among several AHRQ-funded programs including the Institute for Health’s Center for Health Services Research on Pharmacotherapy, Chronic Disease Management and Outcomes headed by Stephen Crystal. Building on the quality measures developed by MEDNET, an NCQA-led consortium funded by AHRQ carried out an extensive process of evidence scans, stakeholder consultation, measurement evaluation, refinement and testing to develop the proposed national measures. Experience of MEDNET states with the use of the measures contributed to measure refinement. Beyond the Institute for Health researchers, the NCQA collaborative included the Nationwide Children’s Hospital, New York University, the New York State Office of Mental Health, the National Partnership for Women & Families and the American Academy of Pediatrics. The collaborative effort represents an important national step forward toward a more systematic approach to monitoring and improving care for the vulnerable population of children and youth with mental health and behavioral illnesses who are treated with antipsychotic medications. The incorporation of the measures into national standard quality measures, used widely across payers, represents an important step toward sustained, measurement-driven quality improvement in this critical area of health care.

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