Dean Melnyk appointed to NQF behavioral health committee

Bernadette Melnyk, associate vice president for health promotion, university chief wellness officer and dean of the College of Nursing, has been appointed to the National Quality Forum's (NQF) Behavioral Health Standing Committee.

The NQF is a not-for-profit, nonpartisan, membership-based organization that works to catalyze improvements in healthcare. Its working groups and committees foster quality improvement in both public- and private-sector, endorse consensus standards for performance measurement, and ensure that consistent, high-quality performance measures is publicly available. NQF endorsement is the gold standard for healthcare quality. NQF-endorsed measures are evidence-based and valid, and in tandem with the delivery of care and payment reform.

In the United States, it is estimated that approximately 26.4 percent of the population suffers from a diagnosable mental disorder. These disorders – which can include serious mental illnesses, substance use disorders and depression – are associated with poor health outcomes, increased costs, and premature death. By 2020, behavioral health disorders are expected to surpass all physical diseases as the leading cause of disability worldwide.

The NQF's Behavioral Health Standing Committee, comprised of experts in the field of mental/behavioral health, evaluates newly submitted measures and measures undergoing maintenance review and makes recommendations for which measures should be endorsed as consensus standards. This committee works to identify and endorse new performance measures for accountability and quality improvement that specifically address care coordination. Measures including outcomes, treatments, diagnostic studies, interventions, or procedures associated with these conditions. Additionally, the committee evaluates consensus standards previously endorsed by NQF under the maintenance process.