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Clinical Practice Guidelines

New Directions Behavioral Health (New Directions) adopts clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) that are meant to assist providers with screening, assessing, and treating common behavioral health and substance use disorders. Before New Directions adopts a guideline, it is reviewed internally by a multi-disciplinary workgroup, board- certified psychiatrists, and the Corporate Quality Improvement Committee. Once adopted, New Directions reviews each guideline at least every two years to verify its continued applicability and currency. Guidelines older than five years are considered outdated and are retired. New Directions may adopt newly published guidelines throughout the year. Guideline changes are discussed at our Provider Advisory Committee and are reported through our online quarterly provider newsletter. We encourage you to periodically return to this webpage for updates.

National professional organizations including the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) (formerly Institute of Medicine) have established standards of guideline development (“NAM Standards”). The American Psychiatric Association (APA) and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) have both published statements in support of the NAM standards.

The industry has recently been producing and updating a limited number of CPGs that meet the NAM standards. Accordingly, New Directions has reviewed and adopted the following clinical practice guidelines:


ADHD: Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Diagnosis, Evaluation, and Treatment of ADHD in Children and Adolescents by American Academy of Pediatrics. Practice Guideline for the Pharmacological Treatment of Patients with Alcohol Use Disorder by the American Psychiatric Association. 2019–2020 Florida Best Practice Psychotherapeutic Medication Guidelines for Adults (2020). The University of South Florida, Florida Medicaid Drug Therapy Management Program sponsored by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration. Practice Guideline For The Treatment Of Patients With Schizophrenia, Third Edition, American Psychiatric Association. The ASAM National Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder: 2020 Focused Update. American Society of Addiction Medicine. Clinical Practice Guideline for The Assessment and Management of Patients at Risk for Suicide; Version 2.0. Department of Veterans Affairs / Department of Defense (VA/DoD). Clinical Practice Guideline on Alcohol Withdrawal Management by the American Society of Addiction Medicine.

New Directions adheres to HEDIS requirements for measuring the performance of providers compared to best practices. Per those requirements three nationally recognized Clinical Practice Guidelines are chosen for this purpose. Annually New Directions measures the clinical process of care covered in the three chosen CPGs with related HEDIS measures. Information about HEDIS® measures is available at: HEDIS® Toolkit.


The Clinical Resources listed below are maintained separately from the Clinical Practice Guidelines listed above. While these documents have valuable clinical information for care providers, New Directions has not officially adopted them as clinical practice guidelines. This is because they do not meet the NAM standards pertaining to rating the strength of evidence supporting recommendations made, and/or pertaining to applicability to the population with the condition being reviewed, or they were developed for medical systems outside the United States and may contain recommendations that may not apply to the US healthcare system.

Clinical Report: Identification, Evaluation, and Management of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder. American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Diagnosis and Treatment in Children and Adolescents. Comparative Effectiveness Review No. 203. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Diagnosis and Management. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Clinical guideline [NG87] Treatment of ADHD. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Drug Misuse Prevention: Targeted Interventions. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Clinical guideline [NG64]. Prevention of Substance Abuse and Mental Illness. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Guidelines for the Biological Treatment of Bipolar Disorders: Acute and long-term treatment of mixed states in bipolar disorder. The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry. Bipolar Disorder: the assessment and management. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) London (UK). 2018 Guidelines for the Management of Patients with Bipolar Disorder. Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Treatments (CANMAT) and International Society for Bipolar Disorders (ISBD). Treatments for Adults with Schizophrenia: A Systematic Review. Comparative Effectiveness Review No. 198. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Eating Disorders: recognition and treatment. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guideline. Canadian Practice Guidelines for the Treatment of Children and Adolescents with Eating Disorders. Journal of Eating Disorders. Autism Spectrum Disorder in Under 19s: recognition, referral and diagnosis. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Clinical guideline [CG128] Assessment, Diagnosis and Interventions for Autism Spectrum Disorders. Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN publication no. 145). Recommended Standard Care for People with Suicide Risk: making health care suicide safe. National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention. Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Treatment of Panic Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder and Generalised Anxiety Disorder. Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists. Generalised Anxiety Disorder and Panic Disorder in Adults: management. NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) Clinical guideline [CG113]