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J Psychoactive Drugs. 2004 Dec;36(4):473-81.

Using administrative data to assess the process of treatment services for adolescents with substance use disorders.

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Health Policy Institute, Georgetown Public Policy Institute, Georgetown University, Providence, Rhode Island 02903, USA.


In 1998, the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) convened an expert panel comprised of a multidisciplinary group of providers, researchers, managed care representatives and public policymakers known as the Washington Circle (WC) to improve the quality and effectiveness of treatment for substance use disorders through the use of performance measures. The initial goals of the panel included developing, testing and implementing performance measures in health plans and encouraging collaboration with key stakeholders to ensure widespread adoption of the measures. The WC focused its initial efforts on the prevention, recognition and treatment of adults with alcohol and other drug (AOD) disorders who receive health care through private and/or public sector health plans (McCorry et al. 2000). In 2002, CSAT, aware of the need to improve access and quality of treatment for adolescents, supported the Washington Circle in the establishment of a special subcommittee focused specifically on adolescent treatment issues. This article introduces the work of the Washington Circle and describes the Adolescent Subcommittee's progress in developing performance measures for the treatment of adolescents with substance use disorders.

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