Critical follow-up care for children newly prescribed ADHD medication

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Critical follow-up care for children newly prescribed ADHD medication


Medications can control symptoms of ADHD — which affects nearly 10 percent of American children — but the effectiveness of the drugs depends on close monitoring of patients by their doctors, according to the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a HEDIS* measurement for children, ages 6 to 12 years old, who have a new prescription for an ADHD medication. The measurement requires physicians who prescribe ADHD medication to have a follow-up visit with children within 30 days of the initial prescription and two follow-up visits within the nine months thereafter.

Here is more information to help you and the parents and guardians of young patients:

Also, here are best practices for meeting the HEDIS measurement for ADHD:

  • At the initial visit, give the parent this follow-up visit questionnaire and ask him or her to fill it out and bring it back to each follow-up visit to help track the patient’s progress.
  • Schedule all follow-up visits before the patient leaves the office.
  • The first follow-up visit should be scheduled for three weeks after the initial prescription is written.
  • Subsequent follow-up visits should be scheduled at a minimum of every six weeks after the initial follow-up until the patient’s condition has been stabilized by the medication. Once the patient is stable, three-month follow-up appointments are recommended.

*The Health Care Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS), the quality measurement tool for the NCQA