Quality & Transparency

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The Kennedy Forum is calling for significant improvements in the quality of mental health care and patient outcomes.

The Kennedy Forum is calling for significant improvements in the quality of mental health care and patient outcomes.

Poor mental health denies millions of Americans their chance to lead healthy and productive lives. Inadequately treated mental disorders are also an enormous driver of cost in our health care system as patients with a mental health diagnosis have nearly triple the average physical health care costs of enrollees those without.

Outcomes of mental health care provided in real world settings lag far behind the outcomes achieved in large trials of evidence-based treatments. One reason behind these poor outcomes in mental health care is that behavioral health providers severely lack the resources and tools to measure outcomes and determine whether patients are responding to treatment.

The Kennedy Forum is working to advance the quality of mental health care by promoting the adoption of evidence-based measures by all behavioral health and primary care providers. Measurement based care optimizes the accuracy and efficiency of symptom assessment, improves the detection of non-response (prompting revisions to the treatment plan), and maximizes the likelihood that patients receive the most effective treatment.

Why It Matters

  • Inadequately treated mental health disorders account for 27% of all disability in the United States.
  • Depression is the second leading cause of disability, accounting for over three times that of diabetes, over four times that of cancer, and over five times that of ischemic heart disease

Focus Group Participants

  • Carol Alter, MD

    AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals

  • Norman B. Anderson, PhD

    American Psychological Association

  • Mary Barton, MD

    National Committee for Quality Assurance

  • Andrew Bertagnolli, PhD

    Kaiser Permanente

  • Brian J. Boon, PhD

    CARF International

  • Tim Cheney

    Chooper’s Guide

  • Patrick Conway, MD

    Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, US Department of Health and Human Services

  • Mark Covall

    National Association of psychiatric Health Systems

  • Charles Engel

    RAND Corporation

  • John Fortney, PhD

    University of Washington

  • Margot Friedman, JD

    Dupont Circle Communications

  • David Gastfriend, MD

    Treatment Research Institute

  • Mary Giliberti, JD

    National Alliance on Mental Illness

  • David Gitlin, MD

    Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School

  • Deborah Heggie, PhD

    Magellan Health Services

  • Rick Hermann

    Tufts University of Medicine

  • Carolyn Kurtz, JD

    Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care

  • Rick Lee


  • Kevin Middleton, PsyD

    MHNet Behavioral Health

  • Garrett E. Moran, PhD


  • Irvin Muszynski

    American Psychiatric Association

  • Theresa Nguyen, LCSW

    Mental Health America

  • Samuel Nussbaum, MD

    Anthem, Inc

  • Joe Parks, MD

    Missouri HealthNet

  • Laurel Pickering, MPH

    NorthEast Business Group on Health

  • Willa Presmanes

    MTM Services

  • Phil Renner, MBA

    Kaiser Permanente

  • Linda Rosenberg, MSW

    National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare

  • Karen Sanders

    American Psychiatric Association

  • Lewis G. Sandy, MD, FACP

    UnitedHealth Group

  • Michael Schoenbaum, PhD

    National Institute of Mental Health

  • Becky Sladek

    University of Washington

  • Jim Spink

    Beacon Health Options

  • Jurgen Unutzer, MD, MPH, MA

    University of Washington

  • Margaret VanAmringe, MHS

    Joint Commission

  • Thomas Wilson, PhD

    Trajectory Health Care

  • Glenda Wrenn, MD

    The Satcher Health Leadership Institute

  • Doug Zatzick

    University of Washington School of Medicine

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