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HealthInsight Selected By CMS To Improve Behavioral Health Screenings

The HealthInsight Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) has been selected by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to begin work on increasing the identification of patients with depression or alcohol use disorder in primary care settings, while also improving care transitions for behavioral health conditions.

The HealthInsight QIN-QIO, which serves Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon and Utah, was one of just six QIN-QIOs nationally to be awarded this special behavioral health task order and will work on improving behavioral health outcomes over the course of the project, which will run from June 2015 to July 2019.

Psychiatric and substance abuse disorders are the second leading cause of hospital readmissions nationally, and depression and alcohol abuse put patients at a greater risk for hospitalization and complicate treatment of other chronic diseases. To help address this problem HealthInsight QIN-QIO will immediately begin working with primary care practices and inpatient psychiatric facilities.

HealthInsight QIN-QIO has a goal of implementing depression and alcohol use screenings at nearly 800 primary care practices in Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon and Utah over the course of the four-year contract , with the goal of seeing a 25 percent increase in screenings during the first year of the project. The Patient Health Questionnaire, a national tool screening for depression, and the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test will be used throughout the project.

"Depression and alcohol abuse place patients at a greater risk for hospitalization and can complicate the treatment of other chronic diseases," Joan Gallegos, project lead at HealthInsight QIN-QIO said. "Improving identification and treatment of depression and alcohol abuse will greatly improve the quality of life for patients."

HealthInsight QIN-QIO will also work with 20 inpatient psychiatric facilities across the four states with the goal of reducing 30-day readmission rates and increasing the number of discharges that are followed-up with an outpatient visit within seven and 30 days of discharge.

HealthInsight QIN-QIO will provide workflow redesign and technical assistance to both primary care practices and inpatient psychiatric facilities to help reach these goals.

"Our teams are excited to begin using quality improvement strategies that are designed to increase patient screenings and enhance communication between behavioral health practitioners, primary care providers and inpatient psychiatric facilities," said Nicole O'Kane, PharmD, clinical director, HealthInsight QIN-QIO.

With the award of this contract, HealthInsight QIN-QIO expects to leverage our broad experience to improve behavioral health in Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon and Utah.

About HealthInsight

HealthInsight is a recognized leader in convening and partnering with communities to improve health and health care by advancing quality, efficiency and value for patients and providers. We are leading experts in quality improvement; transparency and public reporting; use of health information technology; engaging patients to improve their health; and redesigning how care is paid for and delivered. Learn more at healthinsight.org and follow HealthInsight on Twitter at @HealthInsight_.