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Cacophony Healthcare

Posted By Ben Miller, Thursday, May 5, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Think about it.

During the healthcare debate, after the healthcare debate and all in between, there have been voices whispering (or yelling) their opinion on healthcare.Nowhere is this more prevalent than in discussions around the integration of mental health and primary care. These are two worlds of healthcare delivery that are in desperate need to intersect.

There are many voices speaking up on what they believe needs to be done, but is the loudest voice getting the most attention? Is this an example of cacophony challenging our ability to hear healthcare innovation? When resources are scarce, does infighting and, in turn, wars start to trump the community’s needs?

While mental health integrationwas not a topic discussed openly during the reform debate, it is an underlying issue that, like the 400 pound purple gorilla in the room, cannot be ignored.
States, like Virginia, are not providing adequate mental healthservices for children. Iowa is reforming their $1.3 billiondollar mental health system because it is flawed. And it goes on and on and on and on.

It is time to harmonize. It is time to "clean out our ears” and start to listen to the needs of the community. There is a broken system out there that needs our attention. Mental health is in need of innovation. Healthcare might be willing (and dare we say able?) to take on this task of integrating mental health. What will this look like? How will we do it?

Innovate, but please don’t yell.

Game On Blog
Ben Miller is a daily blogger at and his tweets can be followed at @miller7. He is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine. He is the President-Elect of CFHA.

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Randall Reitz says...
Posted Saturday, June 25, 2011
Ben, as I return to this earlier blog post I’m interested in your call for harmony over cacophony. Who do you believe are the key singers in the collaborative chorus? If CFHA were to focus her energy on one key sister association to join our choir, which one do you believe would be most beneficial?
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