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Provider Manual

Depression in Primary Care Guidelines

Last Updated on January 24, 2019

Clinical practice guidelines, practice protocols and measurements, and treatment guidelines have become important tools in today’s provision and management of health care. Security Health Plan has established a clinical practice guideline entitled Guideline for the Management of Depression in Primary Care: Detection, Diagnosis and Treatment.

Security Health Plan does recognize that clinical practice guidelines are meant to be guidelines only and should never take the place of an experienced physician’s judgment.

Security Health Plan’s goal in providing this guideline is to:

  • provide a resource for primary care providers who treat depression
  • provide a standard for the management of depression in primary care settings that reduces variation in practice
  • improve quality of patient care by assisting primary care providers in recognizing circumstances that warrant referral to a behavioral health specialist
  • provide a measurement that can be used for on-going quality improvement activities

Security Health Plan currently measures appropriate treatment of depression through use of the HEDIS® Antidepressant Medication Management measure. This measure consists of three measurements and mirrors aspects of the Guideline for the Management of Depression in Primary Care. The HEDIS® Antidepressant Medication Management measures:

  • optimal provider appointments after beginning antidepressant use
  • effective medication usage through the first 84 days or the acute phase of treatment
  • effective medication usage through 180 days or the continual phase of treatment