Quality Measure Development Initiative

In September 2018, the Centers on Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that APA, among six other organizations, was awarded funding for measure development under section 102 of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015. As a result, APA entered into a cooperative agreement with CMS and contracted with the National Committee on Quality Assurance (NCQA) as the technical experts in measure development. CMS will fund 100 percent of the expenses under the project in the amount of $1.8 million per year for the length of the three-year project.

The goal of the funding award is to promote the development of meaningful quality measures that fill CMS-designated high priority areas, like mental health and substance use disorders. These measures are intended to collect data elements that are not burdensome but are meaningful to those clinicians participating in the care of patients with mental health and substance use disorders as part of the CMS value-based payment program, the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS).

Join in the development of meaningful quality measures for the behavioral healthcare field!

APA is seeking technical experts, consumers and family/caregivers to participate in this important initiative.

Learn More and Apply to Participate

Measure Concepts

The concepts planned for development under the cooperative agreement were defined by APA-member experts with consultation from outside experts and will focus on measurement-based care (MBC), evidence-based care, and care experience. Major diagnostic categories will include opioid use disorder, first episode psychosis and suicidality. This is not to the exclusion of other psychiatric conditions. These measures are intended for use by a wide swath of healthcare providers, including psychiatrists, social workers, and other behavioral health providers, as well as primary care providers, and others.

Measure Concept Titles

Target Population

MBC Domain

  • Initial assessment
  • Monitoring of symptoms, functioning, and recovery
  • Treatment adjustment

All patients seen for mental health and substance use (MH/SU) care

  • Improvement or maintenance of symptoms, functioning, and recovery

Patients with psychosis, suicide risk, opioid misuse (for symptoms); and all patients seen for MH/SU care (for functioning/recovery)

Evidence-Based Treatment Domain

  • Safety plan for individuals with suicide risk
  • Initiation of antipsychotic treatment among individuals with first-episode psychosis (FEP)
  • Initiation of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) among individuals with OUD

Patients with suicide risk, psychosis, opioid misuse

Care Experience Domain

  • Patient experience with MH/SU care

All patients seen for MH/SU care

Other Measure Development Resources

The following tools are not endorsed by APA.