Mental health treatment is most effective when symptoms are identified and addressed early, similar to all health conditions. By implementing Measurement-based Care into mental health and substance use treatment—which involves the use of validated metrics to regularly monitor symptoms and outcomes—clinicians can tailor treatment to individual needs, adjusting care at key decision points throughout the treatment plan.

Measurement-based care is a standard practice for other health conditions but in the treatment of mental health and substance use disorders, MBC is not consistently used and is not currently required. However, as more providers, healthcare purchasers, and consumers learn more and experience the significant benefits of MBC firsthand, health systems are beginning to see the advantages of integrating it into the treatment of mental health and substance use disorders.

This report, a collaborative effort by the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute and commissioned by Path Forward, builds upon a 2015 Kennedy Forum report. It not only includes additional measures but also presents extensive research supporting the use of MBC for mental health and substance use disorders in primary, specialty, and acute care settings.

The report also addresses payment and policy strategies for expanding access to MBC.

Read the full report here.