So much of healthcare innovation is focused on the biggies: diabetes, congestive heart failure, and obesity. These innovations are focused on reducing readmissions due to these causes, predicting progression of the diseases, and building care pathways to better manage and intervene early in these diseases.
In the mean time, we are experiencing an epidemic of opioid abuse. Drug overdose deaths increased by 33 percent in the past five years, with Massachusetts experiencing a jump of more than 100 percent. Systems have been put in place to try to counter and control this increase. But docs are concerned with how they can control the problem while still providing care to hose in pain. Indeed, more than half of US doctors are cutting back on opioid prescriptions, and <link> close to 1 in 10 have stopped prescribing the drugs. Furthermore, the large pharmacy benefits managers are struggling to stay out of trouble and getting slapped with fines when they miss any fraud or abuse.
With this backdrop, there is no question that there is a need for innovative solutions for addiction and mental illness. These problems will not go away with some magical technological wand, but will require a concerted effort by all stakeholders in the care process - from social workers, to police, to mental health care givers, to pharmacies, to the patients and their families.
Our challenge to you is to start thinking of how we can build a better care system for those who need addiction or mental illness care. What are the tools we need to be better and more efficient? How do we design better systems, with better measurement and intervention? How do we understand the contributors to success and the causes of failure?
To help answer these and many related questions, we have decided to start a regular meeting of local innovators to share and discuss innovative solutions for addiction and mental illness. We’re having our first meeting at Column Health, a local addiction care clinic.
Friday, February 24th, 2017
Column Health Somerville
401 Highland Ave.
Somerville, MA 02144
Come one, come all, but come to think and share. And the more diversity of experience and opinion, the better.