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New Commonwealth Fund-Supported Research on Behavioral Health

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The new issue of Health Affairs focuses on behavioral health, which is receiving heightened attention as health system leaders and policymakers seek to meet patients’ needs while controlling costs. The issue features two studies by Commonwealth Fund–supported researchers:

  • Behavioral Health Information Technology
    Piper A. Ranallo, Amy M. Kilbourne, Angela S. Whatley, and Harold Alan Pincus
    While 97 percent of U.S. hospitals and 74 percent of U.S. physicians have implemented interoperable electronic health records, less than a third of behavioral health providers have done so. Researchers review the gaps and challenges in behavioral health information technology and suggest remedies to address the need for greater standardization, expanded use of clinical decision support tools, and better integration of general health, mental health, and substance abuse care.
  • Quality Measures for Mental Health and Substance Use
    Harold Alan Pincus, Sarah Hudson Scholle, Brigitta Spaeth-Rublee, Kimberly A. Hepner, and Jonathan Brown
    There are more than 500 quality measures related to behavioral health, but only 5 percent are used in quality-reporting programs. This study provides an overview of current measures of behavioral health, identifies priorities for measure development, and outlines the most significant challenges. 

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