Serendipity made me a barbecue judge in Memphis, a martial arts student in Little Rock, and a psychiatrist/epidemiologist in a conference call about the implementation of measurement-based mental health care – this in the last several weeks. This serendipity also made it clear to me what all of these activities have in common: the need to quantify quality.
Any observer of health care has heard a lot about integration. The system can’t move forward without it.
It’s the panacea for siloed, fragmented care. Once we achieve the integration between behavioral and physical health services, we have achieved true person-centered, holistic care. Most people agree that integration is how we develop truly effective care, but how to implement integration remains a debated topic.
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.
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.
Integration is a buzzword in mental health care, but what does it really mean?
Such a plethora of definitions leads to a lack of clarity about what activities need to take place, where, and by whom to really make a difference in improved health for people with mental illness.