Eric Dresdale joins me to talk about building startups in the mental health and addiction space. Eric was one of the earliest entrepreneurs to build a startup in this space called “Next Step” which he sold to True Link Financial back in 2016.
He now spends a lot of time advising startups in the mental health space and has some unique insights into care models, care delivery, addiction treatment, and where entrepreneurs can find opportunity to innovate today.
HERE ARE SOME OF THE THINGS WE TALKED ABOUT:
- Martin shares observations from his career which began as a licensed marriage counselor, and eventually led him to behavioral health care hospital management and into senior management at one of the largest providers in the country.
- Martin talks about how he believes he was really wired for “business” versus being a “clinician” but that his clinical training made him a great leader. He told me that learning about people, their motivation, understanding mental illness, etc. has influenced his leadership style.
- As Martin transitioned from the non-profit clinical world to Charter Behavioral Health, he transitioned into a business management role. Eventually, Charter failed, and sold hospitals to UHS in bankruptcy during 2000. That led Martin to land at UHS where he served as a Senior Vice President in the Behavioral segment.
- The delivery of behavioral health care has evolved greatly over the last 30 years. Delivery has become more efficient. 30 years ago, it was very common for people to be hospitalized for 3 months at a time for acute mental health problems. Now it’s more common to be hospitalized for 3 days or less at a time. The industry has prioritized efficiency over individualized care as the reimbursement model has shifted over the years and while here are positive consequences on system capacity, there are negative consequences on the quality of individualized care as well.