March 08, 2023 Network in the Know

Providers can influence depression treatment outcomes

It’s critical that patients on antidepressants be closely monitored. The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) has developed quality metrics enabling CDPHP® to gauge our network’s compliance with recommended guidelines. The information is collected annually, based on claims data, and reported in our Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS®).

The following measurement has been identified as an area for improvement:

  • The percentage of members with major depression who were initiated on an antidepressant drug and completed a period of continuous medication treatment for nine months

Patients beginning antidepressant medications should be closely monitored to assess their response to pharmacotherapy, the development of side effects, clinical condition, and safety. The American Psychiatric Association recommends assessing patients at least six times during the first three months of initiating an antidepressant drug.

The visit schedule during the maintenance and continuation phases should vary as symptoms warrant and could be as frequent as once or twice weekly, or as seldom as once every several months for a stable patient.

CDPHP also reaches out to our members who fall within the above-described HEDIS metric, but it is imperative that you are monitoring these patients to prevent clinical worsening, relapse, and/or suicide risk. Please also utilize the PHQ-9 or PHQ-A to monitor depression symptoms and share this information with your patient’s treatment teams.

Year after year, CDPHP health plans are ranked among the top-performing plans in New York State and the nation. With your help, we can continue to demonstrate that CDPHP and its network providers are dedicated to delivering the highest-quality care.

Dan Mussman
About the Author

Dan joined CDPHP as a communications specialist in 2021, continuing a 15-year career as a writer, marketer, and media professional. His work as Creative Director for iHeartMedia was recognized by the American Advertising Federation and National Radio Mercury Awards. Dan is a regular volunteer with United Way and other community groups, and enjoys filling his free time with Adirondack hikes, playing guitar with friends, and capturing glimmer moments with his camera.

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