TJC & CMS News Blog
Information for

TJC has approved revisions to the standard in the Behavioral Health manual related to outcomes measurement. The revisions require BH organizations/programs to assess outcomes of care, treatment or services by using a standardized tool and go into effect January 1, 2018.

Currently, there is one standard in the BH manual related to outcomes. That standard is CTS.03.01.09, which requires BH organizations to assess the outcomes of care, treatment or services provided to clients. It requires that organizations monitor the progress of individuals served in achieving their identified goals. It also requires that the organization aggregate outcomes data and evaluate outcomes across the population served.

The revisions to this standard are significantly more stringent and require BH organizations/programs to do the following:

  • Use a standardized tool or instrument to monitor the individual’s progress in achieving the identified goals. The tool can be focused on a population or diagnostic category (e.g. depression) or have a more global focus (such as functional status or quality of life.)
  • Analyze this outcome data (for that individual) and use the results to revise the goals and objectives on the individual’s care/treatment/service plan based on progress or lack of progress.
  • Aggregate and analyze the data (across the population) and evaluate the outcomes of care/treatment/services provided to that population

Clearly, these new requirements are aligned with the movement in the behavioral healthcare field toward measurement-based care. Currently, many BH organizations are using outcome measures as part of their performance improvement program. Still, there are some BH organizations that have not yet taken that leap, particularly small ones. This new requirement means that they will need to research and implement an appropriate tool for their population. In addition, the new requirements mean that not only is a standardized tool used to measure a client’s progress but also that the results are then used as feedback for review of the client’s treatment plan with changes to goals and objectives made based on the progress measured by the tool. Since implementing an outcomes measurement program can be an ambitious undertaking, TJC is allowing a full year for implementation of these new requirements.

For the full text of the changes to the outcomes measurement standard and coverage of this topic, see the article on page 10 of the January 2017 issue of TJC Perspectives: Revisions to BH Outcomes Measures Standard.