It’s not new news that health care, rightly or wrongly deserved, has a reputation for being complicated and challenging to navigate.
It sometimes leaves consumers of health care services with a lingering sense of discontent. For those of us in the industry, whether on the payer or provider side, know that often this reputation is not deserved. However, as the saying goes, perception is more important than reality.
We hear a lot about the value of relationships in our personal lives.
They help people to live longer, deal with stress better, and experience better well-being. The same can be said for health care, where relationships take the form of partnerships. For Beacon Health Options (Beacon), this is especially true in Colorado where, for 22 years, Beacon and its partners have measurably improved the lives of the people they serve.
It turns out that almost everything I was taught about suicide during my clinical training is not true.
Contrary to what most clinicians are taught, there is clinical protocol we can follow to prevent suicide attempts – apart from locking people up. Very little of this new knowledge about detecting and treating suicidality has translated into practice.
It should have been a call forgotten without hesitation.
The daycare director called my office to let me know my 18-month-old daughter, Lilly, had eaten sand on the playground. She just wanted to let me know. I mentioned the call to a coworker, and she acted like it wasn’t unusual at all. “Kids test out the world one bite at a time,” I recall her saying. Yet, I didn’t forget the call and probably never will.
Why do some people visit the emergency room more than others? Further, what can clinicians, specifically, and the community, generally, do about it?
These are questions a Beacon Health Options (Beacon) pilot program at its Connecticut Behavioral Health Partnership wants to answer. Through my work as an intensive care manager (ICM) in the Hartford area, I can suggest some solutions.
With April as National Autism Awareness Month, it’s a good time to recalibrate where we are when it comes to the diagnosis and treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
While there is much to celebrate, there is also a reminder for continued vigilance: children receiving Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services achieve better outcomes with fewer hours of intervention, but its use is still well below the ASD prevalence rate.
When it comes to addressing opiate addiction, it’s all beginning to come together.
Within mere days of each other, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker signed a historic law holding great promise to curb the Commonwealth’s opioid epidemic; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new guidelines for prescribing opioids; and the U.S. Senate passed the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 (CARA) by a near-unanimous vote.
Beacon Health Options’ new Oakland, CA office sits literally and figuratively at the intersection of health care and technology.
To one side of our building stands Kaiser’s corporate headquarters. To the other side stand towers occupied by San Francisco’s spreading tech boom, including Uber’s new office. It’s a fitting metaphor for where Beacon stands as well – at a point of transition to a world where technology is an essential enabler of services.
If you have read Beacon Health Options’ white paper, “Integration,” you learned that more than half of all adults with major depressive disorder are already managed in primary care settings.
You also learned that most antidepressant medications are written by primary care physicians (PCPs). However, most concerning is that approximately 45 percent of those who complete suicide have seen their PCP within the past month.
When it comes to government funding for mental health services, there’s good news and some bad news.
The good news is that the federal government is putting its money where its mouth is. President Obama recently announced that the administration is proposing for 2017 the expenditure of $500 million for a series of two-year mental health initiatives and $1.1 billion for new addiction treatment, prevention and recovery programs.