Diabetes Screening for People Using Antipsychotic Medications

October 19, 2022

People with serious mental illness who use antipsychotic medications are at increased risk of diabetes, according to the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). Regular screening for diabetes is important for detecting, monitoring and in the treatment of the disease.

The NCQA quality measure Diabetes Screening for People With Schizophrenia or Bipolar Disorder Who Are Using Antipsychotic Medications (SSD) tracks the number of people 18 to 64 years old who had an annual diabetes screening. We track SSD and other Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS®) measures to help assess and improve our members’ care.

Tips to Help Close Gaps in Care

  • Order an annual diabetes screening test, such as a glucose or HgbA1c test, for our members with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder who are using antipsychotic medications.
  • Build care gap alerts for screening tests in your electronic medical records. Reach out to our members who cancel appointments and help them reschedule as soon as possible.
  • Encourage shared decision-making by educating our members and caregivers about:

−       Increased risk of diabetes with antipsychotics

−       Importance of screening for diabetes

−       Diabetes symptoms

We’ve created resources for members about diabetes that may help.

  • Coordinate care between behavioral health and primary care physicians (PCPs) by requesting test results, communicating about test results, or scheduling an appointment for testing.
  • For members who don’t have regular contact with their PCP, behavioral health practitioners may order diabetes screening tests and communicate the results to the PCP.

The above material is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for the independent medical judgment of a physician or other health care provider. Physicians and other health care providers are encouraged to use their own medical judgment based upon all available information and the condition of the patient in determining the appropriate course of treatment. The fact that a service or treatment is described in this material is not a guarantee that the service or treatment is a covered benefit and members should refer to their member contract or member guide for more details, including benefits, limitations and exclusions. Regardless of benefits, the final decision about any service or treatment is between the member and their health care provider


HEDIS is a registered trademark of NCQA.