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David Mechanic Delivers the Annual John Eisenberg Legacy Lecture

David Mechanic delivered the annual John Eisenberg Legacy Lecture at the Philip R Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies at the University of California, San Francisco on February 6, 2014. His talk was titled, “The Changing Behavioral Health Care Landscape: Need for Evidence-Based Practice” and can be viewed here here.

This lectureship honors the vision of John Eisenberg, a renowned internist and health services researcher who directed the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) from 1997 to 2002. Each year a distinguished individual from the health services research or health policy worlds is selected as the annual John Eisenberg Legacy Lecturer. The lecturer exemplifies Dr. Eisenberg’s commitment to bringing the best of health services research to bear on the crucial issues that face clinicians, researchers and policymakers. The lectureship is funded by the California HealthCare Foundation and co-organized by the University of California, San Francisco, the University of California, Berkeley, Stanford University and the Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute.

Sandra R. Hernández, MD, President & CEO of the California HealthCare Foundation commented that David’s lecture: “could not have been more timely. With the launch of the Affordable Care Act, poor and underserved Californians with untreated behavioral issues now have a pathway to get the care they need. But Mechanic reminded us that we have a long way to go before evidence-based medicine drives clinical decision making for mental and behavioral health issues. He pointed out that social forces, ideologies, and finances shape behavioral health more than treatment advances or evidence-based approaches; prevalent treatments rarely adhere to established evidence-based standards; and the premise floated in the 1980s that well-integrated community care would replace the functions of hospital care is a promise still far from fulfillment…We know that the optimal management of chronic mental illness, let alone mental health parity, will require significant attention and innovation by public and private payers, policymakers, and providers as we take triple aim at behavioral health, working to improve patient experience, advance population health, and reduce the per-capita cost of health care.”

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