Behavioral Health

‘Precision medicine’: Where collaboration and competition meet

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As a professional observer of healthcare for the last 20 years, the relationship between Adam Smith economics and healthcare research and developments has always fascinated me.

In brief, does the dynamic of competition that drives profit-making innovation propel, or hinder, medical breakthroughs?

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) initiative around “precision medicine” – treatment that focuses on the unique genetic code of the individual and not a one-size-fits-all treatment – begs that question.

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The Kennedy Forum Illinois: Collaboration to drive solutions

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So often when we speak about mental illness and substance use disorders, we talk about numbers: the number of people who have died from overdoses; the number of people who take antidepressants; the cost of mental health to society at large.

However, at the Kennedy Forum Illinois in December, keynote speakers put a face and soul to addiction.

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ACOs: Risk for the greater good

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MassHealth is just weeks away from accepting applications from provider and insurance organizations to form Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs).

But what does that mean in terms of tangible impact to Beacon Health Options and companies like it, the Commonwealth, and most importantly, the member? Should we feel excited? Skeptical? Indifferent?

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What does the 2016 election mean for behavioral health?

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The results of the 2016 election portend significant changes to the health care sector.

Its implications open a Pandora’s Box of questions, and it’s fair to ask, “What does this election mean for behavioral health?” With the last decade’s reforms of mental health parity and Medicaid expansion, it’s this question that bubbles to the surface as the most pressing – and arguably the most interesting.

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Helping Students with Asperger’s Take the Stage

dramaclass

When I started teaching at a high school for students with learning differences, my first goal was to make my communication as clear as possible.

I streamlined my presentations, tried to wipe out any sarcasm that could be taken literally, and crafted obnoxiously clear assignment instructions. These tactics proved apt, but little did I know that my most effective communication would involve neither instruction nor planning.

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The NAMI Convention Welcome Center: A Home Away from Home

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This past July marks the twelfth year I’ve had the privilege of supporting the Consumer Welcome Center at the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) National Convention.

This year’s theme was Act, Advocate, Achieve. These are welcome calls-to-action for Beacon Health Options. Our core values reflect our focus to act with integrity, build community, foster resiliency in ourselves and those we serve, treat all with dignity, and advocate for continual improvements in behavioral health awareness and systems of care.

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Play Golf, Take the Pledge, and Help Stamp Out Stigma

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If you want to know what Beacon Health Options’ (Beacon) values look like in “the real world,” look no further than our fourth annual Stamp Out Stigma golf outing today in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Each year, Beacon employees tee up with a variety of community partners to support Stamp Out Stigma, an initiative to eradicate the stigma surrounding mental illness and substance use disorders.

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Beacon to Measure a Different Level of Outcomes

Survey

Greetings from the Sunshine State!

However, it’s more than sunshine that is making Florida a place of interest in Beacon Health Options’ (Beacon) ongoing story. In the first week of July, Beacon launched an outcomes pilot in Florida whose aim is to measure a different level of outcomes – outcomes that matter and truly reflect whether we are improving the lives of some of the most complex and vulnerable members in the state.

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The Unacknowledged Potential of PTSD: Posttraumatic Growth

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Last week, Beacon Lens’ blog post explored the latest developments around Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in honor of June as PTSD Awareness Month.

However, there is an element to PTSD that doesn’t get its due: Posttraumatic Growth (PTG) which, in brief, is any positive change that results from a life-altering or traumatic event.

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New Thinking for an Age-Old Condition: PTSD

PTSD

Since the dawn of time, humankind has realized that there were negative consequences to experiencing overwhelming stressful situations.

For example, reactions to wartime trauma have many names: soldier’s heart, shell shock, combat fatigue and, since the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III, 1980), Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

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