eCQM Title

Anti-depressant Medication Management

eCQM Identifier (Measure Authoring Tool) 128 eCQM Version number 8.3.000
NQF Number Not Applicable GUID 8924f2b3-ec06-4650-b634-d70a53dee577
Measurement Period January 1, 20XX through December 31, 20XX
Measure Steward National Committee for Quality Assurance
Measure Developer National Committee for Quality Assurance
Endorsed By None
Percentage of patients 18 years of age and older who were treated with antidepressant medication, had a diagnosis of major depression, and who remained on an antidepressant medication treatment. Two rates are reported. 
a. Percentage of patients who remained on an antidepressant medication for at least 84 days (12 weeks). 
b. Percentage of patients who remained on an antidepressant medication for at least 180 days (6 months).
This Physician Performance Measure (Measure) and related data specifications are owned and were developed by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). NCQA is not responsible for any use of the Measure. NCQA makes no representations, warranties, or endorsement about the quality of any organization or physician that uses or reports performance measures and NCQA has no liability to anyone who relies on such measures or specifications. NCQA holds a copyright in the Measure. The Measure can be reproduced and distributed, without modification, for noncommercial purposes (eg, use by healthcare providers in connection with their practices) without obtaining approval from NCQA. Commercial use is defined as the sale, licensing, or distribution of the Measure for commercial gain, or incorporation of the Measure into a product or service that is sold, licensed or distributed for commercial gain. All commercial uses or requests for modification must be approved by NCQA and are subject to a license at the discretion of NCQA. (C) 2012-2019 National Committee for Quality Assurance. All Rights Reserved.

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CPT(R) contained in the Measure specifications is copyright 2004-2018 American Medical Association. LOINC(R) copyright 2004-2018 Regenstrief Institute, Inc. This material contains SNOMED Clinical Terms(R) (SNOMED CT[R]) copyright 2004-2018 International Health Terminology Standards Development Organisation. ICD-10 copyright 2018 World Health Organization. All Rights Reserved.
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Measure Scoring Proportion
Measure Type Process
Risk Adjustment
Rate Aggregation
In 2013, over 15 million adults in the United States had at least one major depressive episode in the past 12 months (National Institute of Mental Health, 2013), and depression is estimated to affect nearly a quarter of adults in their lifetime (Burcusa & Iacono, 2007). Depression is associated with other chronic diseases, as it adversely affects the course, complications and management of other chronic medical illnesses such as diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease and asthma (Katon & Guico-Pabia, 2011).

Symptoms of depression include appetite and sleep disturbances, anxiety, irritability and decreased concentration (Charbonneau 
et al., 2005). The American Psychiatric Association recommends use of antidepressant medication and behavioral therapies, such as psychotherapy, to treat depression (American Psychiatric Association, 2010).

For the past 50 years, antidepressant medication has proven to be effective especially for patients with more severe symptoms (Fournier et al., 2010). Among patients who initiate antidepressant treatment, one in three discontinues treatment within one month, before the effect of medication can be assessed, and nearly one in two discontinues treatment within three months (Simon, 2002).

Aligning depression quality improvement with methods used in managing other chronic illnesses has been an important step in depression care. Depression management systems have demonstrated improved short- and long-term outcomes of depression severity and persistence, employment retention, functional status and patient satisfaction (Katon et al., 2002; Rost et al., 2001).
Clinical Recommendation Statement
American Psychiatric Association (2010): 
An antidepressant medication is recommended as an initial treatment choice for patients with mild to moderate major depressive disorder [I: Recommended with substantial clinical confidence] and definitely should be provided for those with severe major depressive disorder unless electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is planned [I: Recommended with substantial clinical confidence].-”Patients should be given a realistic notion of what can be expected during the different phases of treatment, including the likely time course of symptom response and the importance of adherence for successful treatment and prophylaxis [I].”

-”During the acute phase of treatment, patients should be 
carefully and systematically monitored on a regular basis 
to assess their response to pharmacotherapy, identify the 
emergence of side effects (eg, gastrointestinal symptoms, 
sedation, insomnia, activation, changes in weight, and cardiovascular, neurological, anticholinergic, or sexual side effects), and assess patient safety [I].”

-“  During the continuation phase of treatment, the patient should be carefully monitored for signs of possible relapse [I: Recommended with substantial clinical confidence]. Systematic assessment of symptoms, side effects, adherence, and functional status is essential [I: Recommended with substantial clinical confidence], and may be facilitated through the use of clinician- and/or patient-administered rating scales [II: Recommended with moderate clinical confidence]. To reduce the risk of relapse, patients who have been treated successfully with antidepressant medications in the acute phase should continue treatment with these agents for 4–9 months [I: Recommended with substantial clinical confidence].”
Improvement Notation
Higher score indicates better quality

American Psychiatric Association. (2010). Practice guideline for the treatment of patients with major depressive disorder, 3rd edition. Arlington: Author. 
Burcusa, S. L., & Iacono, W. G. (2007). Risk for recurrence in depression. Clinical Psychology Review, 27(8), 959-985.
Charbonneau, A., Bruning, W., Titus-Howard, T., et al. (2005). The community initiative on depression: Report from a multiphase work site depression intervention. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 47(1), 60-67.
Fournier, J. C., DeRubeis, R. J., Hollon, S. D., et al. (2010). Antidepressant drug effects and depression severity: A patient-level meta-analysis. JAMA, 303(1), 47-53.
Katon, W., & Guico-Pabia, C. J. (2011). Improving quality of depression care using organized systems of care: A review of the literature. The Primary Care Companion to CNS Disorders, 13(1).
Katon, W., Russo, J., Von Korff, M., et al. (2002). Long-term effects of a collaborative care intervention in persistently depressed primary care patients. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 17(10), 741-748.
National Institute of Mental Health. (2013). Major depression. Retrieved from (November , 2017) 
Rost, K., Nutting, P., Smith, J., et al. (2001). Improving depression outcomes in the community primary care practice: A randomized trial of the QuEST intervention. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 16(3), 143-149.
Simon, G. E. (2002). Evidence review: Efficacy and effectiveness of antidepressant treatment in primary care. General Hospital Psychiatry, 24(4), 213-224.

Index Prescription Start Date (IPSD): The earliest prescription dispensing event for an antidepressant medication during the period of 245 days prior to the start of the measurement period through 120 days after the start of the measurement period.
The "continuous treatment" described in this measure allows for gaps in medication treatment up to a total 30 days during the 114-day period (numerator 1) or 51 days during the 231-day period (numerator 2). Gaps can include either gaps used to change medication, or treatment gaps to refill the same medication.
To identify new treatment episodes for major depression, there must be a 105-day negative medication history (a period during which the patient was not taking antidepressant medication) prior to the first dispensing event associated with the Index Episode Start Date (Index Prescription Start Date).
Transmission Format
Initial Population
Patients 18 years of age and older who were dispensed antidepressant medications within 245 days (8 months) prior to the measurement period through the first 120 days (4 months) of the measurement period, and were diagnosed with major depression 60 days prior to, or 60 days after the dispensing event and had a visit 60 days prior to, or 60 days after the dispensing event 
Equals Initial Population
Denominator Exclusions
Patients who were actively on an antidepressant medication in the 105 days prior to the Index Prescription Start Date.

Exclude patients whose hospice care overlaps the measurement period.
Numerator 1: Patients who have received antidepressant medication for at least 84 days (12 weeks) of continuous treatment during the 114-day period following the Index Prescription Start Date.

Numerator 2: Patients who have received antidepressant medications for at least 180 days (6 months) of continuous treatment during the 231-day period following the Index Prescription Start Date.
Numerator Exclusions
Not Applicable
Denominator Exceptions
Supplemental Data Elements
For every patient evaluated by this measure also identify payer, race, ethnicity and sex

Table of Contents

Population Criteria




Data Criteria (QDM Data Elements)

Supplemental Data Elements

Risk Adjustment Variables

Measure Set