“Raise the Bar Hire!” – the first annual Work Without Limits Conference – will take place October 8, 2013 in Norwood, MA at the Four Points by Sheraton. Work Without Limits is a statewide network of engaged employers and innovative, collaborative partners that aims to increase employment among individuals with disabilities. It is part of the Center for Health Policy and Research at Commonwealth Medicine.
Employers, employment service providers, state agencies, people with disabilities, and family members are all invited to attend. The event is sponsored by TJX Companies, Fidelity Investments, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts.
Keith Wiedenkeller, Senior Vice President and Chief People Officer, AMC Entertainment, will be the keynote speaker, and talk about how AMC Entertainment’s competitive work program for individuals with autism and other disabilities has been put into operation in more than 300 AMC theatres nationwide.
Presenting at the Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting, Dr. David Keller, a clinical professor of pediatrics at UMass Medical School, and senior policy analyst for Commonwealth Medicine’s Center for Health Policy and Research, discussed the challenges pediatricians face with performance payments that come with patient-centered medical homes and accountable care organizations.
In an article on MedPage Today, Dr Keller is quoted as saying "We have to get policymakers to recognize that pediatrics is about an upward trajectory and that the savings are going to be later."
Find out more by reading “Quality Measures for Kids Need to Be Different.”
Keeping patients and their families at the center of “medical homes” is the topic of a recent blog post for Health Affairs by Dr. David Keller, a clinical professor of pediatrics at UMass Medical School, and senior policy analyst for Commonwealth Medicine’s Center for Health Policy and Research.
In his piece, Dr. Keller writes that “medical home is a term of art within the current wave of health reform,” but that the concept has a long history that has evolved over time. From its original use in the late 1960’s to describe recordkeeping within pediatric practices, medical homes evolved to describe the relationships of patients and their families to pediatric practices. The latter form, with its emphasis on compassionate, well-coordinated, family-centered care is associated with better care and health outcomes at lower cost.
However, as the term medical home evolves beyond its use in pediatrics to adult medicine and chronic disease management, are we too focused on technology and data at the expense of patient relationships?
Find out more by reading Medical Homes Work With Patients At The Center.
With the prevalence of autism increasing at an alarming rate, the Massachusetts Autism Commission issued a report last week calling for the Commonwealth to take “broad and ambitious” steps to improve services and supports for the estimated 75,000 people in Massachusetts with autism.
Amy Weinstock, the director of the Autism Insurance Resource Center located at the UMass Medical School’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center, served on the Commission and said the report’s comprehensive recommendations will serve an important purpose.
“The Commission’s charge was very expansive and we really wanted to take a holistic approach at evaluating current services, identifying gaps and making recommendations for improvement,” Ms. Weinstock said. “I think the recommendations in this report represent a real blueprint for Massachusetts and, when adopted, will extend the state’s status as a national leader in addressing the needs of residents and families affected by autism.”
Among the many findings of the report, several critical needs were identified, including;
- The need for a single entity to provide comprehensive information on services and supports available to autistic residents;
- The need to improve access to mental health services, and to tailor those services to the diverse needs of residents on the autism spectrum;
- The need to change eligibility standards for adult services, focusing on functional ability rather than the current IQ standards;
- The need to improve employment, housing and case management services for adult residents with autism; and
- The need to establish and maintain consistent, statewide data collection on the number of people with autism in Massachusetts.
Established in April 2010 as the Governor’s Special Commission Relative to Autism, the goal of the Commission was to examine the needs of autistic residents, both children and adults, and to make recommendations for a comprehensive, statewide approach to improve services.
Massachusetts is considered a leader among states in providing services to people with disabilities and has taken a number of steps in recent years to improve health care and educational services for people with autism. In 2010, the state passed a law that required Mass. health insurers to provide coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorder.
Resources on the Web:
Photo Caption: Amy Weinstock, from UMMS' Shriver Center, speaks in 2010 at the signing ceremony for the "ARICA" legislation; Massachusetts' autism health insurance reform law.
Two-day conference to feature local experts and focus on improving mental health care in prisons.
Chicago, Ill. – The United States incarcerates more people than any other country in the world. On any given day, one in 100 adults is serving time behind bars. And, according to a 2005 report by the federal Bureau of Justice, more than half of all inmates had a mental health condition, and approximately the same percentage had a substance dependence or abuse problem.[i]
Untreated mental health and addiction pose significant policy challenges and result in enormous financial costs for the nation’s correctional systems.
Experts from around the country will discuss these and other critical topics at the 6th Academic and Health Policy Conference on Correctional Health on March 21-22. The conference will take place at the Chicago Airport Marriott O’Hare, 8535 West Higgins Rd., Chicago.
A major theme of this year’s conference is improving the integration of medical and behavioral health care for inmates. The meeting offers correctional health professionals the chance to learn and share best practices to improve the health of inmates they treat. It also provides a platform for leaders in the field to present innovative research on reducing the social and financial costs of incarceration.
Robert Rosenheck, M.D., from Yale University, will kick off the conference on Thursday, March 21, at 9 a.m., with his keynote address entitled “Systems Integration: Evidence Based Practice or Holy Grail Veterans with Experience in the Criminal Justice System.”
Chicago Experts to Present:
- Reducing untreated addiction and psychiatric disorders can help lead to lower rates of recidivism in Cook County. That is the view of Presiding Judge Paul P. Biebel, Jr., chief judge for the criminal courts within the Circuit Court of Cook County. Judge Biebel, will share his thoughts on this issue when he presents to the conference on Friday, March 22, at 8:00 a.m.
- Linda Teplin, Ph.D., from Northwestern University will offer the plenary address on the health needs and outcomes of youth in the juvenile justice system, based on her work on the Northwestern Juvenile Project. Dr. Teplin’s presentation will take place on Friday, March 22, at 9:45 a.m.
The University of Massachusetts Medical School’s Commonwealth Medicine division and its Health and Criminal Justice Programs sponsor the conference in partnership with the Academic Consortium on Criminal Justice Health. This unique forum is also funded through grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Jacob and Valeria Langeloth Foundation.
The grant funding provides scholarships for 12 junior research investigators and 6 students, all of whom will be recognized during the two-day meeting.
This year’s conference will include participants from five countries and 23 states, representing 97 different academic and correctional institutions. Attendees will include researchers, clinicians, administrators, educators, policy makers, and grant funding professionals.
About the University of Massachusetts Medical School
The University of Massachusetts Medical School, one of the fastest-growing academic health sciences centers in the country, has built a reputation as a world-class research institution, consistently producing noteworthy advances in clinical and basic research. The Medical School attracts more than $255 million in research funding annually, 80 percent of which comes from federal funding sources. The mission of the Medical School is to advance the health and well-being of the people of Massachusetts and the world, through pioneering education, research, public service and health care delivery. Commonwealth Medicine, the Medical School’s health care consulting and operations division, provides a wide range of care management and consulting services to government agencies and health care organizations. For more information, visit commed.umassmed.edu.