What measurement means for ADHD care

Parents of children with special challenges, such as ADHD, face unique questions, concerns and frustrations – particularly when working with the health care industry. In health care, knowledge is power.

The symptoms of ADHD are varied, but generally involve inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. Scientists are not sure what causes it, and it likely results from a combination of factors including genes and environmental factors. Other studies are evaluating the impact of brain injuries, sugar and food additives on ADHD. Treatments include medication, psychotherapy, education and training – or a combination.

Our ADHD measure focuses on follow up care for young patients with ADHD who are prescribed new medications. Because there are many prescription options of varying strengths, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. This makes follow up care critical to successful treatment. Once a child is prescribed medication, side effects, dosages and medications types are some of the things evaluated in regularly appointments with providers.

The statewide rate of ADHD follow-up care by all reporting medical groups is 41%. This means 41 out of 100 children between ages 6 and 12 with ADHD, who received a new prescription for medication, returned at least once for follow-up visit within 30 days. Since ADHD medications can work differently on each patient, follow-up visits are important to see how well the new medication is working and if your child is having any problems or troubling side effects.

High rates of follow-up can be a sign of strong clinic performance with ADHD treatment. It’s important to know that small differences in percentages don’t necessarily reflect the quality of care you’ll receive with a certain medical group. It is more important to note the large differences between providers, and speak with your doctor if you have questions or concerns.

How we calculate the measure

This measure is evaluated annually. The current data is based on information collected from the billing data of health plans for 2014 dates of service. This information is collected under the measure name Follow Up Care for Children Prescribed ADHD Medication.