• Behavioral health and mental illness are major public health issues affecting millions of Americans each and every day. Approximately 10 million adults each year experience a serious mental illness in the United States, representing over 4 percent of adults in the country. Although many groups and efforts have advocated for decades for improved care and parity for individuals with SMI, the need for significant improvements in outcomes for individuals with SMI persists.

    Last month, the diverse NQF member organizations in the NQP Serious Mental Illness Action Team launched a national Call to Action for all healthcare organizations, patient advocacy organizations, community partners, payers, and policymakers to work together to remove barriers that prohibit individuals with serious mental illness from getting the high-quality care they need. Building on this Call to Action, NQF is launching the NQP Playbook™: Improving Access to High-Quality Care for Individuals with Serious Mental Illness to address many of the areas included within the Call to Action, including stigma, clinical education, and client engagement.

    The NQP Playbook™: Improving Access to High-Quality Care for Individuals with Serious Mental Illness provides concrete strategies, implementation examples, and resources for healthcare delivery organizations and clinicians committed to improving access to care and outcomes for individuals living with SMI. The NQP Playbook is organized by six fundamental areas in which healthcare organizations and clinicians can take action, including:

    1. Promoting leadership and leading by example
    2. Implementing organizational policies
    3. Advancing healthcare team knowledge and provide training
    4. Enhancing consumer and caregiver education and engagement
    5. Measuring progress and establishing accountability
    6. Supporting collaboration and coordination with community resources and organizations

    The NQP Playbook also includes “snapshots” of success to demonstrate how various organizations have taken action in the fundamental areas. The snapshots are real-life, “how-to” stories from organizations that have improved access to care for individuals living with SMI.

    While intended primarily for healthcare delivery organizations - health systems, hospitals, outpatient centers, and behavioral health clinics, and clinicians - a broad set of stakeholders, including consumer advocacy organizations, educators, community organizations, policy and regulatory bodies, health plans, and payers will find this NQP Playbook valuable in helping to support improved access to care and ultimately, improved patient outcomes.

    Purchase your copy of the NQP Playbook™: Improving Access to High-Quality Care for Individuals with Serious Mental Illness today!

    NQF gratefully acknowledges support from Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development & Commercialization, Inc., WellCare Health Plans, Inc., and the American Psychiatric Association towards the NQP work on serious mental illness.

    For more information, contact nationalqualitypartners@qualityforum.org.

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