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.
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.
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.”
Perhaps there’s a good reason it took me until late June, LGBT Pride Month, to write this blog.
The fact is, as a gay man in 2017, I don’t feel proud; I feel anxious. As both a clinician and a consumer of behavioral health services, I’m in a unique position to appreciate why LGBT folks are increasingly nervous today.
The room was packed at the Primary Care Development Corporation’s (PCDC)* Primary Care Innovation Circle.
More than 200 health care executives, providers, community-based agency leaders and practitioners assembled to listen to panelists address the most audacious of tasks: the fate of health care in the United States.
Emergency Department (ED) “boarding” – when patients get stuck in the ED for hours, sometimes days, because there is no placement option readily available – is an issue across the country and has received much attention in Massachusetts recently.
Earlier this month, The Boston Globe published an article highlighting the fact that many of these individuals have behavioral health conditions.
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.
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.
Almost a century has passed, but these words continue to ring true and speak to our current tragic opiate crisis.
This crisis has touched almost everyone I have met and has spared no demographic group. The silver lining in this cloudy sky is the mobilization and alignment of legislators, medical professionals, the public and the insurance industry on wiping out this epidemic. Fortunately, changes have occurred rapidly that foretell a positive direction.
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?