Promoting measurement-based care and quality measure development: The APA mental and behavioral health registry initiative

Caroline Vaile Wright*, Carol Goodheart, David Bard, Bruce L. Bobbitt, Zeeshan Butt, Kathleen Lysell, Dean Mckay, Kari Stephens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Measurement-based care has important implications across multiple avenues in mental and behavioral health care, including clinical care, quality improvement, and accountability. Using measurement-based care to demonstrate that quality care is being provided within the context of cost-efficient care could strengthen the position of mental and behavioral health providers as critical members of the health care system. Yet when measurement-based care is used to assess performance of providers, and then that performance influences reimbursement, it must be done with great care and deliberation so as not to result in unintended consequences such as punishing providers. Given psychology's expertise in measurement, the American Psychological Association (APA) and its members are uniquely suited to be leaders in promoting measurement-based care to assess quality and value. In this policy analysis paper, we examine the importance of measurement-based behavioral and mental health care across a variety of public service populations. We describe the increased federal regulatory focus on promoting quality and cost efficient care, the importance of defining and measuring quality care, and introduce an important resource being developed by APA to promote provider engagement in measurement-based care and effective participation in payment reform efforts in health care. We conclude with specific recommendations for how the field can move forward with using measurement-based care to assess accountability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)262-270
Number of pages9
JournalPsychological Services
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2020


  • Clinical data registry
  • Evidence-based treatment
  • Measurement-based care
  • Quality
  • Value-based payment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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