May 1, 2019

Addressing Opioid Prescribing: Chronic Pain

The opioid epidemic was fueled by overprescribing of opioids – especially for conditions like low back pain where treatment with opioids is not best practice. Our Opioid Prescribing workgroup is focused on supporting people who have been prescribed chronic opioids – meaning prescriptions for more than 60 days. Our approach will be patient-centered and based…

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April 16, 2019

Help Us Choose New Topics for 2020

Every year we select new topic areas. This is a chance to look back at our previous work and to think about how we can continue improve health care quality, outcomes, and affordability in our community. Do you have suggestions of new topic areas for us? We want to hear from you! Email me at…

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April 1, 2019

Celebrating Public Health 

The first week of April marks public health week. This year’s theme is For science. For action. For health. Most of us who work in the health care field deal with clinical care – those important interactions that help each of us remain healthy and deal with problems when they come up. Public health focuses…

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March 1, 2019

Shared Decision Making: Plans for 2019

When I talk with my doctors about my health and especially about my daughter’s health, I want and expect them to be respectful, base what they say in available evidence, and to help me understand the pros and cons of any decisions. Lucky for us we live in Washington State where our Health Care Authority…

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February 1, 2019

Introducing our Revised Lumbar Fusion Bundled Payment Model and Warranty

For the past year, our Accountable Payment Models workgroup has been reviewing evidence, hearing from community members, and revising our Lumbar Fusion Bundled Payment Model and Warranty. At our recent Bree Collaborative January meeting, members voted to adopt the bundle and warranty. Our goal in this revision was to respond to changes in the evidence…

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January 1, 2019

New Year, New Perspectives

The final comic strip of Calvin and Hobbes speaks to the understated genius of author Bill Watterson. Calvin and the tiger Hobbes are walking in a waist-deep field of snow discussing how “the world looks brand new…like having a big sheet of white paper to draw on.” Calvin turns to Hobbes and says “It’s a…

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December 1, 2018

Behavioral Health, Equity, and Opioid Prescribing: Looking Back at 2018

Our average life expectancy in America has declined again, as it has done for the past few years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released data showing that this trend is largely driven by increases in deaths by suicide and drug overdose. These two areas have been key parts of our work over…

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November 2, 2018

Dear Daughter: Building a Healthier Future for You

I spent the last three months on maternity leave getting to know my daughter. She came into the world like most babies, unwillingly leaving behind a nicer, easier place for the cold and the bright of a hospital room. I can’t say that my first thoughts were of how the health policies we create now…

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October 1, 2018

Supporting People with Chronic Pain Through Collaborative Care

Since early this year, the Bree Collaborative has been looking at ways to best organize care to support people with chronic pain. One of the systems with the best evidence is through collaborative care. Collaborative care is based in primary care and uses a team-based care model with a care coordination or care management function,…

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