ORLANDO, Fla., April 20, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Be fearless in the face of change. That's the challenge National Council president and CEO Linda Rosenberg delivered to more than 4,500 mental health and addiction executives, board members, policy makers, researchers, and consumers from across the country attending the 2015 National Council Conference.
Parity and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are driving changes in healthcare delivery and payment, which Rosenberg says organizations must face head on by collaborating, leveraging new technology and starting difficult conversations to piece together the fragments of health care into comprehensive systems of care.
The ACA isn't just about increasing the numbers of people with health insurance. Rosenberg added that it goes beyond coverage and is "about models that integrate care, and designate responsibility and risk for the health of a population."
Americans have come to expect convergence in all areas of their life. "We want one-stop shopping. We want convenience. We want to deal with a company we know and trust." Rosenberg pointed out, adding, "And that goes for our health care as well as our groceries." In her prepared remarks, she called technology an "enabler of integration," and smartphone apps game changers for healthcare organizations and patients.
She also took on clinical practice. Rosenberg called for early identification and intervention, saying families are too often left alone wondering how to care for their loved ones. She focused on rising suicide rates and urged the audience not to accept suicide as inevitable, telling them that if all practitioners followed suicide prevention guidelines the suicide rate would go down by 20 percent in five years and 40 percent in ten.
Before introducing Gen. Colin Powell USA (Ret.) to expound on the qualities of a fearless leader, Rosenberg left the audience with provocative questions; should guns be included in discussions about reducing suicide? And, should providers reconsider asylums? The latter will be raised by Ezekiel Emanuel, the former White House special advisor described by Rosenberg as a "health care rebel," later in the conference. Emanuel takes the podium Tuesday April 21 at 8:30am ET, which will be livestreamed online.
The National Council for Behavioral Health (National Council) is the unifying voice of America's community mental health and addictions treatment organizations. Together with 2,300 member organizations, it serves more than eight million adults and children living with mental illnesses and addiction disorders. The organization is committed to ensuring all Americans have access to comprehensive, high-quality care that affords every opportunity for recovery and full participation in community life. The National Council, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and the Missouri Department of Mental Health pioneered Mental Health First Aid in the U.S. and have trained more than 375,000 individuals to connect youth and adults in need to mental health and addictions care in their communities. To learn more about the National Council, visit www.TheNationalCouncil.org.
Aaron Cohen, (301) 633-6773
SOURCE National Council for Behavioral Health