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Issue 18 | Spring 2014

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Dear Reader,

The implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and The Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA) place mental health, for the first time, at the forefront of healthcare financing issues in parity with prevention and primary healthcare. For many years there has been a separation of the mind from the body, both from a philosophical and practice perspective. This division has led to a dichotomy in care provided to individuals with behavioral and physical health needs (whether recovery or treatment models), in addition to payment methods for services received. Yet, mental health constitutes a major chronic illness and a significant healthcare expenditure totaling more than $125 billion in federal dollars a year (not counting some level of private and commercial dollars). Many suggest that there are serious dysfunctions in both systems and that the new integration of primary care and behavioral health may present answers in assuring a more responsive and coherent system of care. We're facing a moment of opportunity and we propose to explore the realities, challenges and opportunities.

We are pleased to bring our 18th Edition of the Philadelphia Social Innovations Journal (PSIJ) titled “What's the Future of Behavioral Health in Light of the Disruptive Innovation of Healthcare Reform?” in partnership with Public Health Management Corporation, the Thomas Scattergood Foundation, City of Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services, Beck Institute of Cognitive Therapy and Open Minds.

In this edition PSIJ takes a closer look at how both the behavioral and physical health systems under broad healthcare reform will need to adjust to become integrated.  You will hear from national and regional behavioral health experts, innovators, leaders and policy makers who write about the challenges and opportunities for innovation that will come along with this broader health paradigm shift.

As always, we thank our sponsors, whose support is essential to what we do. We also want to recognize and thank our advisory board members, representing the Barra Foundation, Bank of America, Green Tree Community Health Foundation, Independence Foundation, Independence Blue Cross Foundation, Inglis Foundation, Knight Foundation, The Patricia Kind Family Foundation, The Philadelphia Foundation, Public Health Foundation, Public Health Management Corporation, Sage Communications, Scattergood Foundation, St. Christopher’s Foundation for Children, United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, the University of Pennsylvania, Wells Fargo and the William Penn Foundation.

Very truly yours,

Nicholas Torres, Publisher

Tine Hansen-Turton, Publisher