Adolescent Depression Management Public Comment Now Open

November 4, 2014 · NCQA

Share your comments by 5:00pm (EST) November 18, 2014

The AHRQ-CMS CHIPRA National Collaborative for Innovation in Quality Measurement (NCINQ) invites the public to comment on two proposed Adolescent Depression Management measures. The measures are being developed under the Pediatric Quality Measurement Program (PQMP), which aims to produce measures that can be used by states, health plans, providers, health care purchasers, consumers and policymakers to understand and improve the quality of health care for children in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

NCINQ is a Center of Excellence under the PQMP program and is led by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).  These measures are based on the adult measures developed by Minnesota Community Measurement that are nationally endorsed and used in the CMS EHR Incentive (“Meaningful Use”) program.

“Depression is a major cause of disability for teens,” said Sarah Hudson Scholle, NCQA’s Vice President of Research & Analysis. “We need tools to help us understand whether teens are getting the help they need to function well at home and at school.”

During the public comment period, stakeholders will have an opportunity to advise NCINQ on developing adolescent depression management measures for use by state and federal programs. The public comment period begins at 9:00 a.m. ET on November 4, 2014, and ends at 5:00 p.m. ET on November 18, 2014.

Proposed Adolescent Depression Management Measures

  • Adolescent Depression Monitoring
    Monitoring patients with depression is important for identifying response to treatment. Patient-reported outcome measures help clinicians to routinely gauge depressive symptoms, track treatment outcomes, and contribute to informed decisions on when changes to medication or psychotherapy, or behavioral health referral should be considered. The Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) is a self-administered instrument for screening, diagnosing, monitoring and measuring the severity of depression over time.  Routine assessment of questionnaire scores can inform primary and specialty care providers about the course of treatment for their patients.
  • Adolescent Depression Remission/Response
    Achieving and sustaining symptom remission and restoring full role functioning is the goal of acute depression treatment for adolescents.  Remission of depression symptoms is of considerable clinical importance as it predicts decreased risk of relapse and greater psychosocial functioning than typically observed in patients who have achieved clinical response alone. Response is a measured improvement during treatment and is defined as a 50% improvement in symptoms from baseline to end-point.  While it is a suboptimal outcome, it is useful for understanding the course of an episode.

How to Participate in Public Comment
To read and comment on the proposed specifications, visit

About the National Collaborative for Innovation in Quality Measurement

The National Collaborative for Innovation in Quality Measurement (NCINQ) is a consortium of leaders and organizations committed to advancing pediatric measurement as part of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Pediatric Quality Measures Program. The team is a multi-state and multi-stakeholder collaborative with a focus on pediatric care quality. Collaborating organizations and leaders include the National Committee for Quality Assurance; Nationwide Children’s Hospital; New York University and the New York State Office of Mental Health; Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey; and a broad network of major health plans, provider groups, families, and consumers. This project is supported by grant number U18HS020503 from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.  The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

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