Conformance to depression process measures of medicare part b beneficiaries in primary care settings

Elizabeth R. Pfoh, Ramin Mojtabai, Jennifer Bailey, Jonathan P. Weiner, Sydney M. Dy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objectives To evaluate conformance to depression screening, management, and outcome quality indicators and to evaluate individual characteristics associated with conformance to these indicators. Design Cross-sectional study using electronic health record (EHR) data. Setting Thirty-four clinics in one healthcare system. Participants Medicare beneficiaries aged 65 and older with at least one primary care visit between September 2010 and August 2012 (N = 5,000). Measurements Seven measures, current as of 2013, were found for which all the necessary specifications were available in the EHR: general screening, screening within 4 months of diagnosis, screening after stroke, screening after heart disease, depression reassessment, depression response, and depression remission. Multilevel logistic regression analyses were used to determine factors associated with conformance. Results Screening for depression in Medicare beneficiaries was low (17%). Conformance to measures varied from 10% for the depression response measure to 77% for the depression remission measure. In the adjusted regression analyses for the general screening (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 1.45, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.01-2.08), depression reassessment (AOR = 4.19, 95% CI = 1.16-15.19), and screening after heart disease (AOR = 5.57, 95% CI = 1.37-22.57) measures, black participants were more likely to be given care that conformed to the numerator criteria than white participants. A strong site effect was found, with 90% of the depression screens being administered at three sites. Conclusion Only a small proportion of Medicare beneficiaries received the recommended screening and follow-up care needed to conform to the quality measures for depression in the primary care setting. Further evaluation of measures of depression care should be conducted before these measures are implemented widely.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1338-1345
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015


  • Medicare
  • depression
  • quality assessment
  • screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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