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M3 Information Offers First NCQA-approved Solution to Help Psychologists Work with Primary Care Providers to Triage Mood and Anxiety Disorders

Rockville, MD (PRWEB) August 06, 2014

A new tool that allows healthcare providers to quickly screen for multiple mood and anxiety disorders—including depression, anxiety, PTSD and bipolar—is paving the way for increased behavioral health integration between psychologists and primary care providers.

M3 Clinician is a multi-dimensional, validated screening tool that helps clinicians at patient centered medical homes (PCMHs) more easily identify behavioral health problems in patients and refer those who need specialist care. This tool also offers psychologists the assessment and monitoring capabilities to track patients’ progress and outcomes over time.

“Mood and anxiety disorders are the two most common dimensions of psychiatric illness that healthcare providers encounter with their patients,” said Dane Hallberg, CEO of M3 Information, which developed the tool. “M3 Clinician is the only NCQA-approved screen to look at all four dimensions—depression, anxiety, PTSD and bipolar—in a single, three-minute evaluation and get real-time results, so primary care practitioners can quickly identify potential behavioral health problems to aid diagnosis and treatment, while helping to triage more severe problems for referral to behavioral health specialists.”

The results of a new analysis of M3 Clinician will be presented by Dr. Berverlyn Settles-Reaves, project director in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Howard University, at the American Psychological Association Annual Meeting on Friday, August 8 at 4 p.m. in Washington, DC. The study demonstrates a high correlation between scores on the M3 Clinician and those from the Short Form Health Survey (SF-12), a valid assessment of functional health and well-being. In this study, correlations were calculated between SF-12 and the individual subscores from the four dimensions of the M3. “This study is an excellent quality indicator of the M3 Clinician,” said Dr. Settles-Reaves. “A key characteristic of a good mental health monitoring tool is the ability to reflect levels of functionality. This study shows that M3 Clinician does that.”

M3 Clinician is the only “prevalidated” electronic tool for multidimensional mental health that has been approved by the National Committee for Quality Assurance for use in Patient Centered Medical Homes. NCQA is a not-for-profit organization that is committed to improving health care quality by developing standards and performance measures for a broad range of health care entities. The tool was originally validated in a study published in the March 2010 issue of the Annals of Family Medicine that was based on the responses of 647 patients at the University of North Carolina Family Practice Medicine Clinic. Since the publication of the study in March 2010, the M3 Checklist has been taken by hundreds of thousands of people in over 120 countries and in all 50 states.

“The M3 Clinician is introduced to the patient at the time of intake and we repeat it quarterly at the time of treatment planning,” said Alissa Mallow, DSW, LCSW, administrator of quality improvement systems for the ACACIA Network. “For staff, the M3 Clinician provides actionable clinical data. For some patients, the M3 begins the conversation regarding the symptoms they may have been struggling with over their lifetime; while for others, it deepens the conversation, helping them to move forward in self-care and wellness. The M3 Clinician is the tool we have adopted to promote integrated care across all product lines.”

This can translate into lower out-of-pocket costs and increased health care participation. People seek mental health treatment in primary care settings much more frequently than in specialty mental health clinics. According to the National Institute of Mental Health’s most recent estimate, the annual economic impact of untreated mood disorders is more than $70 billion, while many studies have shown it to be cost effective to integrate behavioral health care with primary care.

A new study suggests 55% of Americans will suffer from a mental disorder during their lifetimes, while less than one-fifth receive adequate care. One in five people with depression may actually have bipolar disorder, and many have an anxiety problems that complicate treatment. Some of these misdiagnoses and the ensuing mistreatment may result in worsening symptoms and even suicide, a particular problem among active and retired military. People with chronic medical problems such as heart disease or diabetes are at greater risk and may appear resistant to treatment if they have unrecognized mood or anxiety problems. That’s why knowing the answer to “What’s my M3?” is so vital.

For a limited time, psychologists can register for a free 90-day subscription to M3 Clinician.

About M3 Information, L.L.C. M3 Information is a Rockville, Maryland-based company creating health information technology solutions to improve the lives of people with mental health and substance use conditions. WhatsMyM3, the company’s most popular product, uses secure mobile health and web-based technologies to deliver behavioral health risk assessments and progress tracking information to consumers ( Health care providers rely on, a browser-based portal and mobile app combination that delivers real-time clinical decision support at the point of care.

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