Half the battle: My story of bipolar disorder in an already sober world

April 2011. It’s late afternoon, and my second day of the Partial Program at Beverly Hospital has wrapped up.

I’m plowing down Route 128 with a song on the radio that I don’t remember. Everything has changed, but I’m not totally sure if that’s a good or bad thing.

Read More

Measurement-based care leads to improved outcomes, resource efficiency

There’s a lot of discussion in health care circles about evidence-based care, measurement-based care, best-practice care, holistic care.

The terms don’t stop there, and neither does their singular importance. Each term has its own significance in this larger puzzle of health care terminology.

Read More

Payer consensus: A new era for substance use disorder treatment

The prevalence of substance use disorder (SUD), highlighted by the opioid crisis, is not new news.

Approximately, 21 million Americans have an SUD. In 2015 alone, opioids killed more than 33,000 people in the United States, more than any previous year on record, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Read More

Teach your children well

The youngest of three, Casey did her own thing, her own way. Popular, athletic and prom-queen pretty, she is quick-witted and outgoing, with a sarcastic sense of humor.

When it was time to go to college, we weren’t concerned about her becoming a “girls-gone-wild” casualty because of her focus on academics and general self-assurance.

Read More

Catching up to an opioid crisis: Innovation, access

Paul Gileno, founder and president of the U.S. Pain Foundation, recently addressed in an opinion piece the common ascribed-to culprits of the opioid crisis: overprescribing physicians, Big Pharma and even demanding patients.

However, he adds to his list of culprits one not usually seen: the health insurance industry, essentially arguing that insurance does not cover many non-pharmaceutical options for pain relief, such as physical therapy, massage, biofeedback and more.

Read More

Beacon’s ‘Triple Aim’: Camaraderie, advocacy, health

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s (IHI) “Triple Aim” has become a household term for many in health care.

The phrase refers to improving the American health care system through a three-pronged framework: improve the patient care experience, improve populations’ health, and reduce the per capita cost of health care.

Read More

‘Did you hear about Frank?’

As I showed a hometown friend around my university’s library one November Sunday afternoon in my sophomore year, a classmate saw me and said, “Did you hear about Frank?”.

I had last seen my roommate on Friday afternoon when we both headed to our respective hometowns for the weekend. I returned to the campus on Sunday. Frank did not. He had died by suicide.

Read More

Momentum – Beacon’s progress bringing Zero Suicide to life

Sometimes we get so involved working on an initiative, it’s hard to mark our own progress.

One year ago at this time, Beacon Health Options was still drafting our suicide prevention white paper. In February 2017, Beacon released, “We Need to Talk About Suicide.”

Read More

And the diagnosis is . . .

It’s first grade and the assignment is to draw Three Blind Mice.

All the kids around me had cute pictures it seemed, but mine was a big blob, looking as though someone had thrown up. This is my first memory of feeling behind in school.

Read More

Substance use: An old problem requires new solutions

President Donald Trump has acknowledged that overdose deaths are “a tremendous problem in our country.”

In a press briefing on Tuesday, Aug. 8, he stated that this epidemic threatens everybody, “young and old, rich and poor, urban and rural communities.”

Read More