The Fifth Memo I Received—From an Insurance Company

April 18, 2024

In the lead up to the release of my book, Dear Family, Why Your Loved One Won’t Accept Help and How To Help Them Anyway (currently available for pre-order!), I’m sharing the five “memos” that I got from the Universe that led to the founding of Tipping Point Recovery and the work we do.

The first memo came from a chief of police. The second was from the chief of physicians in the emergency room. The third came from a treatment center. And the fourth was from the grandparents of a young man I helped.

The fifth memo came from the chief medical officer (CMO) of an insurance company.

The Fifth Memo

It was probably the second year of the two-year grant that had me working in the ER doing overdose interventions, and I went to a mental health talk that the CMO from a behavioral health unit of a local (and large) insurance company was speaking at.

She shared her personal mental health story, which was rare, especially for a medical doctor. It was a powerful story, and afterward I went up to thank her for her transparency. It was being transparent that was getting me better results in the ER, so I knew how important it was.

I said to her, “I’ve never met a doctor who shared a story like that. Thank you for sharing.” And I told her a little about the grant and the work we were doing.

You know what she said to me next?

“Would you come in and meet my team?”

So, I went to her office at this insurance company, and I met with her and another member of her team. Then, she brought in another person for me to talk with.

Then, we walked down the hall to get someone else.

I was there for a couple hours, gathering one person after another until we ended up in a room with more than five people on her team, and I shared my story of recovery and of working in the emergency room and how we’d changed the question. I told them about training clinicians and working with the young man’s grandparents and many other family members.

I told her of the outstanding outcomes we were getting. 

What do you think the CMO of this insurance company was thinking as she listened to me talk?

Insurance companies spend a ton of money on addiction. Addicts go into treatment, we leave early, we go back into treatment, we leave, we go back, we leave…

Do you know the highest point of relapse for someone with substance use disorder is when we leave treatment and go home?

And each relapse costs insurance more money.

They asked me if I would prepare a presentation about the work I was doing. Then they said they’d like to talk with me about doing a pilot project for 100 of their highest utilizing members.

I realized educating everyone around the addict, in a different way, drastically improved outcomes.

What all five of these memos showed me—from the chief of police, the chief of physicians, the treatment center, the grandparents, and the insurance company CMO—was that all of these different branches of the system need to be sitting at the table together to create lasting change.

An educated and empowered family could be the glue that fills the cracks between the systems. 

The police, medical professionals, treatment centers, and insurance companies need to understand that nothing changes if nothing changes.

And we all need to understand addiction so we can understand the ways we have become entangled in the problem.

That’s our mission at Tipping Point Recovery. To get everyone— doctors, case managers, insurance providers, and family—at the table so we can close the gaps our loved ones are falling through and give them the absolute best chance of success at lasting recovery. 

Through this work with all sides of the system, we at Tipping Point have developed a family recovery framework that has become the foundation of all our programs. We call it the Dear Family Framework, and I break it down in my book, Dear Family, Why Your Loved One Won’t Accept Help and How To Help Them Anyway

Pre-order your copy today, and join the hundreds of families, treatment providers, and recovery warriors who have started to do things differently.

Leave a Comment


  1. Grace Couch

    Nice! I will preorder and read it. I like the concept.

    • Kate Duffy

      Great! Hope you enjoy reading it

  2. Tami Singleton

    I’ve sent in my preorder and can’t wait to get the book.

    • Kate Duffy

      Thank you Tami! I hope you find it helpful.

  3. Cheryl Jensen

    I am so happy that your sharing this. Wish I would of found you earlier. My daughter has been in recovery now 3 yrs. But I still am very interested in an on going knowledge of helping her stay this way. What we should be doing our selves at this point. God bless

    • Kate Duffy

      Thank you so much Cheryl! I wish we were all doing this earlier as well.


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