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OUTPATIENT MENTAL HEALTH OUTCOME MEASUREMENT METHOD DEVELOPED: COULD HELP END ARBITRARY TIME/COST LIMITS FOR PSYCHIATRIC BENEFITS

 NEW YORK, Jan. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- What is believed to be the first scientifically valid method for tracking and measuring the results and cost-effectiveness of outpatient psychiatric and other mental health care was introduced at a briefing held here today. The new tracking and outcome measurement system was developed through a four-year research program conducted jointly at Northwestern University and by Integra, Inc., a privately held company which manages mental health and substance abuse programs for nearly 100 corporations throughout the United States.
 Called COMPASS(SM), the system enables mental health program administrators to work more effectively with psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and other outpatient care providers to monitor patient progress. With COMPASS, mental health care professionals are able to make better-informed decisions about the continuation of treatment and reimbursement using scientifically accurate outcome measures, rather than having to rely on the often- arbitrary time and expense limits traditionally used to determine eligibility for coverage of outpatient mental health services.
 Peter L. Brill, M.D., Integra's founder and CEO, said, "COMPASS methodology provides organizations with a valid, caring process for ensuring the quality and effectiveness of treatment, and for enabling health care professionals to measure the performance of an attending therapist."
 Kenneth Howard, Ph.D., who led the research at Northwestern, explained, "COMPASS evaluates family, medical, psychological and work- related problems and treatments, and then measures them against a database of validated mental health care treatment outcomes."
 COMPASS:
 -- Provides a standard measure of the severity of a person's condition to help determine treatment are referral;
 -- Monitors patient progress during treatment using scientifically established measurement tools to provide concurrent information for case management use in monitoring and adjusting treatment delivery;
 -- Enables early detection of unsuccessful treatment to accelerate delivery of effective help to patients;
 -- Measures "dose response" to determine how much more improvement is likely with additional treatment;
 -- Justifies and controls overall cost of mental health benefits.
 Headquartered in Radnor, Pa., with eight offices, Integra was founded in 1977 as the Center for the Study of Adult Development, a non- profit organization affiliated with the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania. Today, the company manages mental health and substance abuse programs on a for-profit basis.
 -0- 1/7/93
 /CONTACT: Paul Keller or Urquhart Wood of Integra, Inc., 215-688-2700, or Cynthia T. Holland of Stuart Pearlman & Co., 212-370-4940, for Integra, Inc./


CO: Integra Inc. ST: New York, Pennsylvania IN: HEA SU:

LR-OS -- NY016 -- 2533 01/07/93 09:32 EST
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Date:Jan 7, 1993
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