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Depression Screening Quality Improvement Activity

CMS recognizes that depression is a common psychological disorder for ESRD patients and that depression and mortality in ESRD patients may be linked. The intent of this Quality Improvement Activity is to improve the screening and treatment of depression for ESRD patients. Here you will find links and information that will assist you in development of a process to ensure completion, documentation, and appropriate follow-up of a depression screening for qualifying patients.


Depression Screening Tools

This Depression Screening Walkthrough will assist you with correct documentation of your patient’s depression screening component in the CROWNWeb system. You can also use this document as a guide to verify that your batched data has been submitted correctly into CROWNWeb.

Train the Trainer Manual

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Depression is a common health condition that affects patients thoughts, feelings, behavior, and physical health. Untreated depression can contribute to poorer health outcomes and inflated healthcare costs. This Train the Trainer manual can help you identify signs and symptoms of depression, assist you with screening, and aid you in planning suitable interventions for your patients. There are screening tools and depression resources available in the manual as well.


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The Patient Health Questionnaire-2 (PHQ-2) is a two question survey to screen for depression as a first step. A positive screening should be further evaluated with the PHQ-9 or another screening tool.


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The Patient Health Questionnaire-9 is a nine question screening tool that scores each of the 9 DSM-IV depression diagnostic criteria as “0” (not at all) to “3” (nearly every day). It can help with diagnosis, monitoring, and measuring the severity of depression.


Resources from Atom Alliance

Our behavioral health experts share insight into ways interview and discuss topics that may be difficult for patients to openly discuss with a medical provider.