Keeping psychologists in the driver's seat: Four perspectives on quality improvement and clinical data registries

Psychotherapy (Chic). 2020 Dec;57(4):562-573. doi: 10.1037/pst0000227. Epub 2019 May 23.


Performance accountability-also frequently referred to as quality improvement in the fields of medicine and public policy-is under growing scrutiny in mental and behavioral health care. As one high-profile example, psychologists and other mental health providers will be deemed "eligible clinicians" under the 2015 Medicare Access and Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act starting in 2019. This will incentivize psychologists to track their Medicare patients' clinical outcomes and report them in data registries, and those who do not will suffer a reimbursement penalty. However, many psychologists are not aware of these developments or prepared for this change. The goal of this article is to provide information to psychologists about quality improvement and clinical data registries from four distinct, though overlapping, vantage points: professional governance, quantitative research, qualitative research, and clinical practice. We review recent regulations and research in this area, with an emphasis on exploring both the potential benefits and challenges of quality improvement. We conclude by providing recommendations for the field of psychology. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Medicare
  • Psychology*
  • Quality Improvement*
  • Registries*
  • United States