Measurement & Quality of Care

Mental health disorders cumulatively are the most costly health problem in
American primary care.1

These disorders frequently go undiagnosed and undertreated. The U.S. Preventive
Services Task Force recommends annual screening for depression, and, when positive,
additional assessment for other comorbid psychological problems, such as anxiety,
bipolar, posttraumatic stress (PTSD), and substance abuse disorders (SUD).2 

These additional assessments are important, as 20% of primary care patients
who screen positive for depression suffer from bipolar disorder, anxiety
disorders are twice as prevalent as depression, and substance use disorders
are often missed.3,4

These conditions are often comorbid with physical illnesses and often increase
the cost of care 2- to 3-fold with a negative impact on outcomes.5

The M3 Checklist is a research-validated screening tool that quantifies a patient’s
risk for mental health disorders commonly found in primary care.6

Regular monitoring of patients with the M3 Checklist gives primary care access to
measurement-based care, is a first step towards the integration of behavioral
health into primary care and meets the requirement for validated rating
scales in the Collaborative Care Model (CoCM).

LabCorp Provides Multidimensional Mental Health Monitoring:
An Essential Part of Primary Care

LabCorp now offers the evidence‐based M3 Checklist.  Please contact us or your
LabCorp representative.

The M3 Checklist empowers providers by detecting, measuring and organizing symptoms
of the following common mental health conditions: depression, anxiety disorders,
bipolar disorder, and PTSD. Consisting of 27 questions, the patient‐engaging web and mobile
assessment can be easily completed during office visits, in the waiting or exam room,
or remotely, in just three to five minutes.

Once the assessment is completed, the M3 Checklist computes  numeric
values––the M3 score and specific condition subscores––which can be used by
developers to trigger clinical decision support rules. M3 Checklist provides
structured mental health symptom data that can be integrated with most
electronic health records using the standard laboratory data
channel, allowing the data to be managed in the same manner as lab tests.

LabCorp also offers the AUDIT-C, a 3-item screen for alcohol misuse.

Registry Development and Population Health

The care management team can track, measure changes and progress of an individual patient over
time. Regular monitoring of M3 Checklist’s Score & Subscores identifies those patients who are not
reaching their treatment targets and require adjustments in care. A mental health registry or list
of patients currently receiving care can be created from aggregating individual data for
systematic tracking of care. This type of comprehensive tracking prevents patients from slipping
through the cracks and provides mental health data for population health analytics.


1 Roehrig C, 2016. Mental Disorders Top The List Of The Most Costly Conditions In The United States: $201 Billion.
Health Affairs 35(6):1130–1135.
2 Siu AL and USPSTF, 2016. Screening for Depression in Adults: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force

Recommendation Statement. JAMA 315(4):380-387.
3 Angst J, et al., 2011. Prevalence and Characteristics of Undiagnosed Bipolar Disorders in Patients With a Major
Depressive Episode. Arch Gen Psychiatry 68(8):791-799.
4 Kessler RC, et al., 2005. Prevalence, Severity, and Comorbidity of Twelve-month DSM-IV Disorders in the National
Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R). Arch Gen Psychiatry 62(6): 617–627.
5 Melek SP, et al., for Milliman, 2014. Economic Impact of Integrated Medical-Behavioral Healthcare. Report for the
American Psychiatric Association.
6 Gaynes et al., 2010. Feasibility and Diagnostic Validity of the M-3 Checklist: A Brief, Self-Rated Screen for
Depressive, Bipolar, Anxiety, and Post-traumatic Stress Disorders in Primary Care. Ann Fam Med 8(2):160.