Additional 2009 PQRI measurements available to psychologists

Psychologists participating in Medicare's reporting program have three new preventive and screening measures available

by Government Relations Staff

February 19, 2009 — In addition to several measures focused on mental health, psychologists participating in Medicare's reporting program known as the Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI) will have three preventive care and screening measures available for reporting in 2009. Although not developed by psychologists, the measures are designed to identify problems that psychologists are likely to observe when providing services such as psychotherapy.

The three preventive care and screening measures are:

Inquiry regarding tobacco use (#114)
Patients 18 and older are asked about tobacco use at least once in a 24-month period. The measure may be reported when a psychiatric diagnostic interview, psychotherapy or health and behavior service is provided.

Body mass index (#128)
For use when a psychiatric diagnostic interview or psychotherapy service is provided to patients 18 and older with a calculated body mass index (BMI) within the past six months. The measure may be reported when a BMI calculation has been performed by another health care provider and is documented in the medical record.

Unhealthy alcohol use (#173)
Involves screening patients 18 and older for problem drinking, alcohol abuse, risky/harmful use, alcoholism and alcohol dependence when a psychiatric diagnostic interview, psychotherapy or health and behavior service is provided.

Detailed information on the three preventive care and screening measures, including the data collection worksheets, is posted on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) website.

Questions about the PQRI may be directed to the Practice Directorate's Government Relations Office at 202-336-5889.