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MN Community Measurement Launches First-Of-Its-Kind Quality Measure For Depression Care
Date:8/20/2009

Initial findings reveal significant opportunity for improvement

Clinic-specific ratings available at www.mnhealthscores.org

MINNEAPOLIS, Aug. 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Efforts to improve depression care in Minnesota and surrounding areas will benefit from a first-of-its-kind quality measure introduced this week by MN Community Measurement, a nonprofit organization that provides objective information on the quality of health care through its Web site, www.mnhealthscores.org.

The measure reports the percentage of patients at participating clinics who were documented as being in remission - or no longer depressed - six months after being diagnosed using a standard questionnaire called the PHQ-9. The data include 13,600 patients with diagnosed depression at 54 participating primary care and behavioral health clinics, mostly in the Twin Cities metro area. The remission rate for all patients was 4%. The top-performing clinic had a remission rate of 11% for its patients.

"Withdrawal and lack of initiative are major symptoms of depression. Over time, patients will often miss appointments, discontinue their medications or otherwise disengage from care," said Jim Chase, president of MN Community Measurement. "Initial remission rates for our quality measure are low. We believe this is due in part to the fact that many of the patients did not have regular contact with their providers and did not have a follow-up PHQ-9 test. This new measure helps providers understand how well they are staying engaged with their patients with depression. The PHQ-9 enables us to look at the outcomes of depression
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SOURCE MN Community Measurement
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