Imagination is the answer to solving addiction in this country. Before we can design and execute meaningful and lasting solutions, we have to be able to imagine a country in which addiction is understood and treated just like any other chronic disease. If we can imagine it, we can accomplish it.
Learn more about our work to transform how our communities deal with the disease of addiction.
Now that the Affordable Care Act has been largely upheld, Stid set about addressing likely fallout from concerns at the state level around both the Act’s objective to expand Medicaid AND its broad mandate to address mental and behavioral health issues. The specific context for his conerns is the considerations going on within many states to not expand Medicaid.
As I write this, America is waiting for the Supreme Court’s decision(s) around the ACA. By design, the Act provides mandates for both the public and private sectors. One of the private sector impacts is to shift a considerable amount of risk for the financing and delivery of health care to employers, employees and health care providers.
I was recently listening to a speech by Muhammad Yunus, the oft-awarded fellow who invented microlending, when he said, “What separates transformational leaders from zealots or dreamers is actionable vision.” While I don’t know whether we qualify as transformational leaders, we certainly offer up an actionable vision.
There’s a piece in the May 14, 2012 edition of the The New Yorker under this title, written by Larissa MacFarquhar, that contains some excellent lessons for the addiction, treatment and recovery fields. The subject of the article is a fellow by the name of Clayton Christensen, the Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School, with a joint appointment in the Technology & Operations Management and General Management faculty groups. He is best known for his study of innovation in commercial enterprises. His first book, The Innovator's Dilemma, articulated his theory of disruptive innovation.
Face It TOGETHER® exists to support the recovery revolution. One of our purposes is to evangelize the proliferation and support of a private sector funded recovery community organization that will, in turn, bring a community-wide focus to the recovery oriented system of care model. In pursuing this purpose we have discovered that business (the undisputed commercial foundation of the private sector) is very interested (and perhaps far more so than it is given credit for) in treating addiction as a chronic disease.
Integrating medical care is not a new idea. One of the oldest and best-known examples is the Mayo Clinic.
That said, integrating behavioral health with primary care services is a great idea whose time has come and is long overdue. Each day, as this type of integration evolves, whether through accountable care organizations, health homes or other approaches to integrating care, enormous value will be created.
There’s a good place for virtually all of the words we currently use to describe the treatable, chronic disease of addiction; a museum. WE NEED A NEW WORD!
I’ve been blessed once again this week with the opportunity to work with the family of a very sick young man in desperate need of help. I hope never to lose the sense of gratitude I have for such opportunities. At the same time, however, I am also reminded of how much is wrong with today’s system of dealing with addiction.