Berwick to leave
. . .and his work just started []
Implmenting the Affordable Care Act -- FAQs
affordable care act FAQs.jpg The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services updated the Frequently Asked Questions. []
Coordinating linkage of Insurance Exchanges and Medicaid
Manderscheid.jpg Of the 32 million adults who stand to benefit from the new coverage they will receive from the Affordable Care Act, about one-third have a mental illness or substance use disorder. Ron Manderscheid, noted expert in this area, explains how the ACA will implement Health Exchanges to coordinate with Medicaid by working with states for enrollment. []
Certified Peer Specialists celebrated in Georgia
Activist consumers celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Georgia Mental Health Consumers Network (GMHCN) with announcements of an expansion in training programs for peer services, housing initiatives, and plans for ending segregation in transportation services. []
It costs cost $96 billion to treat smoking related diseases.
Under the Affordable Care Act programs to end smoking will be reimbursed under Medicaid.The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the costs to will be outweighed by savings in health costs plus additional savings coming from a healthier workforce. Download the announcement from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. ... []
HHS Scales Back Rules On Health Insurance Appeals
Kaiser Health News.jpgHow will the HHS rule narrowing the window for appeal of insurance decisions affect you? Read Susan Jaffee's analysis in Kaiser Health News. []
Highlights of USPRA/2011
USPRA.jpgUSPRA's 36th annual conference brought people from 14 countries to Boston to learn about the evidence-based initiatives contributing to recovery programs. With an overcapacity interest, and 500 people eager to learn about programs for homeless vets, there was something for everyone. []
Berwick keynotes National Council meetings
Donald Berwick keynotes San Diego's meeting of the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare. Watch the on video presentation, including questions and answers from the audience. []
CBO: Seniors Would Pay Much More For Medicare Under Ryan Plan
Republican plans to cut Medicare, and "scrap the health care law's Medicaid expansion," and cost more. An article on Kaiser Health News has analysis of the CBO report, with links and videos. []
Obama urged to force hearings on Berwick
According to Modern Healthcare, "A virtual Who's Who of the patient-safety and health care quality movements has signed a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to request that Senate hearings be held on his nomination of Dr. Donald Berwick." []
Berwick nomination in doubt
. . .unfortunate for health reform []
States' Mental Health Budgets Fall In Recession
The fiscal crisis is falling especially hard on programs such as Medicaid that have become the first line of health care for people with a disabling mental illness or substance use disorder. Kaiser Health News surveys cuts states are making based on new studies by advocacy groups. []
Battle Over Medicaid Block Grants Could Have Far-Reaching Impact
Kaiserlogo.jpeg Medicaid, part of the social contract to make sure that people with health needs are not abandoned, has been discussed as a candidate for block grants to states. Proposals stem from a need to make spending more efficient and effective, and to curb entitlements. The implications for people with a psychiatric diagnosis, or other chronic health needs, could be profound. This article by Kaiser Health News outlines how the Republican party proposals for health and budget reforms enlist block grants, first used by Pres. Ronald Reagan in the 1980s. And what the political debate implies. []
Ronald Reagan, mental health, and spin
. . .man behind the myth []
U.S. lags in life expectancy
Smoking, obesity, and the health care system are all factors in the rankings of the United States in life expectancy. []
KHN Column: 'Multiple Fictions' Drive Opposition To Health Law
Kaiser Health News.jpg "The health reform debate is not about a fictional war between market-based health insurance and government regulation. It is about whether to provide adequate subsidies to cover the uninsured and whether to begin a process of leveraging change in the delivery and payment systems through which one-sixth of the U.S. economy is devoted to health care," writes Henry J. Aaron, senior fellow at The Brookings Institution. []
How The Health Reform Game Has Changed
Enthusiasts of health reform should not overlook the power of interest groups, or of the states, to influence next steps. "Many of the key implementation decisions won't be made at the federal level because insurance is regulated to a large extent by states," write economists Austin Frakt and Aaron Carroll for Kaiser Health News. []
Affordable Care Act impacts behavioral health starts soon
sebelius,hyde,9.15.jpg"You can't have a healthy America without having a good behavioral health," said Pam Hyde, SAMHSA administrator. As part of the Obama administration's effort to see that the controversial Affordable Care Act is publicized before opponents redefine the law for the mid-term elections, Hyde and HHS Sec. Kathleen Sebelius participated in a conversation hosted on the government's internet site, []
As many as one-third of people with behavioral health issues are uninsured.
This figure was given during a webchat about the impact of the Affordable Health Care Act for people with a mental health or substance use disorder. Pam Hyde, SAMHSA, and Sec. Kathleen Sibileus participated. To hear or see the entire conversation, go to []
Repealing Health Reform: For Heritage Action, It Would Be A 'Grand Slam'
Kaiser Health News.jpgRepeal of the health reform law is gaining traction among Republican lawmakers who have gathered 170 signatures. Leading the campaign is the Heritage Foundation, arguing that the majority of Americans have rejected health during the debate, and more so since it was signed, and is willing to wait until Republicans can effect a reversal. Kaiser Health News interviewed Michael Needham, CEO of Heritage Action for America. []
Senate Gives Final Passage To State Aid Bill, House Summoned For Tuesday Vote
Kaiser Health News.jpg Senators voted Thursday to give $26 billion in aid to states and schools, $16 billion of which will be directed to Medicaid programs around the nation as the House prepares to return during its recess to cast votes on the legislation. Read the round-up of stories originally published in Kaiser Health News . . . []
New Rules Guarantee Patients' Right To Appeal Insurance Claim Denials
Insurance for mental health and substance use disorders should be protected by new laws establishing parity with other medical conditions. When consumers challenged termination of services, there were few opportunities to appeal. New rules from the Obama administration have now established regulations for third-party reviews of denials of claims. []
Despite Law, Mental Health Coverage Lacking In Many Insurance Plans
Despite last year's passage of the most comprehensive parity insurance law providing coverage for mental illnesses and substance use disorders, waivers still exclude people and many in the high-risk category will have to wait until 2014. KaiserHealthNews spoke to NAMI's Andrew Sperling to learn more about the application of this law to 140 million people affected by it. . . []
Applauding the Berwick appointment
. . .it's about time []
Push back attempts to delay parity
Kaiserlogo.jpeg The Hill: "Health plans that say mental illnesses can't be treated like physical ailments are relying on an 'outdated argument' without merit that does not reflect 'three decades of scientific research,' 52 House members wrote in a recent letter to regulators. . . []

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