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The New World of Accountable Care: A visit to the University of Southern California

The New World of Accountable Care: A visit to the University of Southern California  July 1, 2013 Southern California in general and the campus of USC in particular are beautiful this time of year. The temperature and humidity are such that registration for conferences happens outside on a green lawn under a tent. Such were the circumstances surrounding my recent visit to Los Angeles to present at the 7th International Conference on Social Work in Health and Mental Health on the…

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International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership (IIMHL)

International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership (IIMHL)  April 12, 2013 As I mentioned, I have attended two noteworthy events recently. Last week, I shared with you about attending the MHCA event. This week, I will be talking about how I recently attended the seventh meeting of the International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership (IIMHL) www.iimhl.com in Auckland New Zealand. IIMHL was created in 2003 primarily through the efforts of MHCA. Several of the members of

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Mental Health Corporations of America (MHCA)

Mental Health Corporations of America (MHCA) April 5, 2013 was recently involved in two somewhat related events that were noteworthy in their own ways. This week I will be blogging about Mental Health Corporations of America (MHCA) and next week will follow up with the International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership (IIMHL) event in Auckland New Zealand. First was the retirement of Don Hevey, CEO of MHCA. In case you don’t know, MHCA is an invitation only trade Association for CEOs of nonprofit…

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Risk Management – Part 1

Risk Management – Part 1 October 2, 2012 “Life is a probability statement.” – Jim Treloar, Ph.D. Dr. Treloar was my statistics and research methods professor when I was working on my doctorate at Ball State University. His quote above has stuck with me my entire career. It summarizes the human condition in one, pithy sentence. We can’t predict events exactly, but we can say (sometimes with high confidence) when they are more or less likely to happen. For some…

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Checklists In Complex Systems

Checklists In Complex Systems July 31, 2012 In his book The Checklist Manifesto, Dr. Atul Gawande made a compelling case for the value of checklists in complex systems. Dr. Gawande correctly observed that checklists are routinely used in aviation to mitigate risk and improve safety. Pilots use checklists extensively for a reason. Flying an airplane is a complex endeavor and things can get missed if one relies on memory – especially when things get stressful. There is a phenomenon called…

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Outcomes-Driven Model of Delivering Care in a Behavioral Health World

Outcomes-Driven Model of Delivering Care in a Behavioral Health World July 13, 2012 In the acute medical world an outcomes-driven model of delivering care has been very successful. I believe the same will hold true for the behavioral healthcare world. In a behavioral health setting a diagnosis is likely more of a categorization of groups, and outcomes will be generally measured along one or more of three dimensions: symptomology, functionality and satisfaction. So outcomes reporting might look like, “For depressed…

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Diagnosis Code Debate

Diagnosis Code Debate June 18, 2012 was recently asked the following question: There always seems to be an on-going debate in the market as it relates to Diagnosis. There is debate is between DSM-IV and DSM-V and in other instances, I hear people in the behavioral health industry lash out against ICD-9 vs. DSM. But what I do not understand is why the code set used to define the diagnosis is focused upon as the source of frustration. In my…

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