Persons with Mental Illness Neglected, Abused in Florida Facilities
Violent deaths, restraints, over medication, and untreated infections are just some of the problems cited in the Miami Herald's year-long investigation into Florida's assisted living facilities. Homes for people with a mental illness were disproportionately affected, leaving advocates to grapple with a new set of problems. Angela Wilson explains. . . []
Reactions to Ryan's proposal
. . .fast and furious []
Medicare Part D shortchanges enrollees
. . .who pays? []
Elderly in long-term care doubt need for mental health problems.
Read more about this study from the Nov. 2009 issue of the Journal of Gerontology. ... []
Move over Zyprexa, Seroquel, trial on Risperdal
Bloomberg News obtained company documents in a Louisiana trial seeking reimbursement of public funds paid to Johnson and Johnson for Risperdal. The drug was initially marketed to treat schizophrenia but its reach expanded. . . []
Ending Medicare hospital cap
Continuing their efforts to end discrimination in Medicare coverage for mental health, Sens. John Kerry (D-MA) and Olympia Snowe (R-MAINE) introduced a bill (S 3028) to end the 190-day lifetime cap on psychiatric hospitalization. . . []
Over-use of psychotropic drugs in Chicago nursing homes
Wrongful use of anti-psychotic drugs to quiet annoying patients led to 12 deaths and many accidents in Chicago's nursing homes in recent years, according to an article in a series running in the Chicago Tribune. Calling the series "Compromised Care," the paper is exposing the deplorable services, criminal acts, and dysfunctional monitoring of programs and safety of Illinois nursing home residents. . . []
Safety of atypical antipsychotics
Atypical antipsychotic drugs are used widely beyond the original group of mental disorders, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, for which they were initially approved. []
Depression is a risk factor for suicide in the elderly.
Read more from the National Instutitue of Mental Health.... []
Suicide rates are highest for people 65 and older.
Read more from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).... []
Suicide rates are highest among those 65 and older.
Statistics available from the National Institute of Mental Health.... []
More than 95 % of the elderly receive their mental health services from primary care providers.
Findings from this study published in 1996 are repeated in a 2005 review of psychiatric epidemiology. Registration required to read more. ... []
Antidepressants fall through "doughnut hole"
An analysis of the impact of the "doughnut hole" for seniors with Medicare Part D with chronic illnesses found that "45% of patients on antidepressants reached the coverage gap in 2007." The study is available from the Kaiser Family Foundation.... []
Parity for Medicare mental health
By an overwhelming majority in both houses, Congress reversed a bias built into the 1965 law for seniors when it overturned a presidential veto of a Medicare bill. It will take six years for the rates to drop from the current 50 percent to the same 20 percent older Americans pay for physical health, but the reversal is a symbolic and a real achievement and was the focus of intense lobbying by advocacy and consumer organizations. In addition to establishing... []
Senate stalls vote on copay for seniors' mental health
Tucked into a bill (S 3101) to prevent a reduction in Medicare physician fees by 10.6 percent was a provision to reduce the insurance copay for psychiatric services. It is currently set at 50 percent, a rate that was set in the 1960s, and the proposal was to reduce this to 20 percent, equal to other health costs. The American Psychiatric Association has been advocating an equal fee for seniors, and also to retain reimbursements making it possible for doctors... []
Overuse of psychiatric nursing homes
The Hartford Courant reports an excessive number of psychiatric admissions to nursing homes will cost Conn. $6.5 million in Medicaid reimbursements. ... []
Antipsychotics harm dementia patients
Barriers to meds for elderly
Schizophrenia studies
The March issue of Psychiatric Services (subscription required) focuses on schizophrenia, including research on antipsychotic drugs, the responsibilities of siblings who increasingly fill a void left by parents, and for the over-55 group which is expected to double in the next twenty years. ... []
Massage replaces medication in elderly
The Wall Street Journal reports that a nursing home for retired Roman Catholic nuns has been able to dramatically cut dispensing antipsychotic medication, often overly prescribed to calm elderly patients, by hiring a massage therapist. ... []
Depresson studies
A study of adolescents in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests switching medicine and adding CBT helps teens for whom an earlier medicine didn't work. Men between 71-89 years old who scored high for elderly depression also had lower concentrations of testosterone. The community study (n=3987) took place in Australia, and findings are reported in the March edition of Archives of General Psychiatry (subscription required). Stroke victims: The American Academy of Neurology published a British study indicating... []
Elderly overdosed
The Hartford Courant reports that Connecticut is one of the top four states dispensing antipsychotic medication to elderly nursing home patients having no psychiatric histories. ... []
Bush health plans costly
Sara Rosenbaum writes in the Feb. 27th issue of the New England Journal of Medicine (free article) that it is an effort to redefine “the role of government in organizing and overseeing the health care marketplace,” not budget, which has driven Bush health proposals. Her case in point is SCHIP, which she calls the "proxy war," but others are in the news. Today, the New York Times says that another Government Accounting Office report (scheduled for release) will again... []
Spouses paid for caregiving
Seniors pay more for Zoloft

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