URAC Unveils Measurement-Based Care Designation to Address Growing Need for Integrated Care

graphic of a medical professional taking notes

URAC, the country’s pre-eminent health care accrediting body, today announced a new Designation for Measurement-Based Care, designed to improve outcomes for patients, especially those with Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder (MH/SUD) diagnoses.

MH/SUD has been a growing challenge across the health care landscape and COVID-19 has only exacerbated the already-existing issues. In the United States, the suicide rate is the highest on record and the opioid crisis continues apace, with deaths up 400%. MH/SUD diagnoses act as a multiplier for other diagnoses and can increase treatment time, intensity and cost. However, as we confront the stigma of MH/SUD diagnoses, access to care has become an issue and there are ramifications at the both societal and workforce levels. URAC aims to address these access issues through its series of behavioral health-related recognition programs, including the new Measurement-Based Care Designation.

The move from our current fragmented health care delivery system to a reformed system requires five inter-related activities, and measurement-based care is one of them, along with access, MH/SUD parity compliance, tele-behavioral health, and collaborative care models. URAC developed its Measurement-Based Care Designation to work in conjunction with its other programs to address all five of these activities.

“URAC stands at the forefront of addressing health care challenges through measurement, accreditation and best practices,” said Shawn Griffin, MD, URAC’s President and CEO. “Measurement-based care is necessary in all settings and our Designation addresses its importance, for all sectors of health care.”

“As URAC advances measurement-based care, we also help support employers and health plans in requiring the use of screening tools,” continued Dr. Griffin. “As a licensed physician, I know first-hand the importance of tracking and reporting on treatment outcomes as part of standard clinical practice in order to achieve greater accountability and positive treatment outcomes at both the individual and population level of care.”

“Measurement-based care is foundational to more consistent diagnosis and improved behavioral health outcomes,” said Michael Thompson, President and CEO of the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions, a stakeholder in The Path Forward for Mental Health and Substance Use. “URAC’s leadership on this issue through their new Designation will help employers and other plan sponsors better identify the providers who are committed to this higher standard of care.”

Learn more about Measurement Based Care