For approximately 35 years, Beacon Health Options has worked to deliver on a fundamental yet singularly important goal: helping people live their lives to their fullest potential by driving and supporting evidence-based, integrated care.
Today, Beacon serves more than 40 million members, but the company’s efforts extend to all Americans as it strives to improve the US healthcare delivery system at large.
There must be something in the water in Beacon Health Options’s San Francisco office. Over the past year, several of us who share the space have had baby girls (me included). As an expectant and now new mom, I have experienced the health care system as a patient – not just as a behind-the-scenes professional.
Maternal depression screening is the way to go.
Health care delivery is generally complicated, but it doesn’t always have to be. Change can occur through a simple step. Take the case of maternal depression. It is undisputed that depression is a highly treatable medical condition, especially if identified and treated early.
In my first ever swimming race, I came last. Not second. Not third. Last. It was a flashy promotional event put on by Speedo at the Olympic pool in London. Top athletes were there to swim with us. There was even branded bunting. In the photo taken afterwards, I am standing brazenly (and inaccurately) on the winner’s block. The three girls with whom I’m sharing the podium are also laughing and pulling faces. It’s a competitive scene, and there are cameras all around. I’ve just gained the worst possible result, and I look the heaviest I’ve ever been. It is also the happiest picture I have of me as an adult. Belonging was not a condition of your ability…
Behavioral health is the least evidence-based area of health care today. The reality being there just isn’t a robust evidence base for much of what we deliver in behavioral health care, least of all for children and adolescents. A case in point is an article published by The New York Times several weeks ago. The article cites statistics suggesting one in four women in America now takes a psychiatric medication, compared to one in seven men. The most common antidepressants prescribed in the US are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which enhance serotonin transmission and thus modulate mood. Such medication is not without side effects, including feeling agitated and/or experiencing gastrointestinal discomfort. While sadness and anxiety are undeniably common, it…