HEDIS® Tip Sheet

Follow-Up After Hospitalization for Mental Illness (FUH)

Line of business: BlueAlliance (Commercial) & BlueAlliance Care+ (Medicaid)

Measure Description

Percentage of members 6 years of age and older who were discharged after hospitalization for treatment of selected mental illness or intentional self-harm diagnoses and who had a follow-up visit with a mental health provider. 

Two rates reported for this measure:

  • Percentage of discharges for members who received follow-up within 30 days of discharge.
  • Percentage of discharges for members who received follow-up within 7 days of discharge.
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Compliance for 7-Day and 30-Day Follow-Up

Any of the follow-up visits with a mental health provider may count as a follow-up visit: 

  • Outpatient visit.
  • An intensive outpatient visit or partial hospitalization.
  • A community mental health center visit.
  • Electroconvulsive therapy.
  • Telehealth visit.
  • An observation visit.
  • Transitional care management services.
  • A visit in a behavioral healthcare setting.
  • Telephone visit with a mental health provider.
  • Psychiatric collaborative care management.
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  • The 30-day follow-up rate is part of the BlueAlliance and BlueAlliance Care + Program.
  • The denominator is based on acute inpatient discharges for a principal diagnosis of mental illness or intentional self-harm.  
  • Follow up visits that occur on the same day as discharge do not count toward measure compliance. 
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  • Readmissions/direct transfers to a nonacute inpatient care setting within the 30-day follow-up period regardless of the primary diagnosis for readmissions.
  • Members in hospice during the measurement year.
  • Members who died during the measurement year. 
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Best Practices

  • Utilize EMR flags and reporting to assist in tracking patients in need of follow-up visits and those who cancel or do not show up for appointments so appropriate outreach can be made.
  • Educate providers/patients on the importance of mental health follow up.
  • Schedule follow up visits as soon as possible and educate patients, utilizing teach back methods, on the importance of keeping follow-up appointments.
  • Include caregivers, if applicable, in understanding discharge and follow-up instructions.
  • Develop systems for outreach such as case managers to encourage follow-up appointments OR assist with re-scheduling missed appointments.
  • Utilize established systems for outreach to coordinate with behavioral health practitioners. 

Coding Disclaimer

The analysis of any medical coding question related to a measure is dependent on the measure’s technical specifications including the factual situations present related to the member, the practice, the professionals, and the medical services provided.


Should you have specific coding or other questions related to the measure, please send your questions to BlueAlliance@bcbsnd.com.


HEDIS® is a registered trademark of the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).