‘Precision medicine’: Where collaboration and competition meet

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

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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The Yin and Yang of 2016: A Crisis Year Holds Promise

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.

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ACOs: Risk for the greater good

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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ECHO: Expanding community-based treatment for opioid use disorder

With the breakneck speed at which health care research is advancing, it’s logical to argue that medical knowledge is outpacing medical practice, especially in behavioral health.

That’s why it’s important for Beacon Health Options (Beacon) to seek out the tools health professionals need to stay abreast of the latest advancements in evidence-based care.

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What does the 2016 election mean for behavioral health?

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

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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Military OneSource: Raising awareness, one bag at a time

The Military OneSource EAP program is exactly that: a one-stop source of work/life services for active duty, National Guard and Reserve service members and their families.

However, in spite of this plethora of services – ranging from non-medical counseling and health and wellness coaching to financial counseling and tax consultations – Military OneSource remains unknown to many people who could benefit from this unique program.

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Feeling anxious about the election? Join the crowd.

Regardless of one’s political leanings, everyone can agree that this presidential campaign has caused more anxiety than most, if not all.

The ingredients concoct a recipe for a nail-biting anxiety: combative and often offensive rhetoric, Wikileaks disclosures, the suggestion of Russia’s role in tampering with our democratic process, a party at odds with itself due to its own candidate – all combine for a nasty plate of political heartburn.

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Mental Health Parity: Progress and Implementation

As attention is gaining around parity and the implementation of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equality Act (MHPAEA), Beacon Health Options stands front and center in its efforts to help propel the law’s goals. It’s been an ongoing process.

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