in-patient admits nearly doubled for youth
A study in the current issue (August, 2011) of Archives of General Psychiatry indicates that the use of inpatient hospitalization increased nearly 100% for youth between 1996 and 2007. The study was based on hospital discharge data. ... []
Solitary confinement reformed in New York
MHASC.jpgReform of solitary confinement for mentally ill prisoners took place in New York this month. A milestone for the state -- the first in the nation to lead with law and not follow the courts -- it also falls short of the goal to end a practice that in some parts of the world is called torture. "Solitary confinement reformed in New York" is accompanied by an exclusive podcast, and interview with one of the activists. []
Justice Dept. Pushes For Services To Move Patients Out Of Mental Hospitals
Kaiser Health News writes, "A sweeping agreement this week between the Justice Department and the state of Georgia highlights an aggressive new campaign by the Obama administration to ensure that people with mental illness and developmental disabilities can get services." []
Peer counselors support consumers in emergency rooms
. . .a service innovation []
Oregon gives priority to hospitals
At a time when evidence about successful treatments and recovery from mental illnesses minimizes using hospitals, Oregon is spending nearly one billion dollars to build two more for nearly 1,000 beds. Advocates fear this a return to the 19th-century practice favoring isolation in prison-like conditions rather than community treatments. Oregon has already been besieged with problems including suicides, a four-year justice department investigation, and insufficient staffing leading to mandated overtime for nurses, The Statesman-Journal: has embarked on a multi-part series... []
Business consolidation of psychiatric services
Psychiatric Solutions, Inc., the for-profit company with allegations of mismanagement detailed in lawsuits, state and federal investigations, and the media most notably Pro Publica, will be acquired by a Fortune 500 management company. . . []
PBS airs documentary during Mental Illness Awareness month
A documentary about the origins of family advocacy in the 1970s when psychiatry blamed parents for schizophrenia will play on PBS stations throughout May. Released by imageReal, When Medicine Got it Wrong traces the family advocacy movement. . . []
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. . . []
Interim parity regulations hailed
Friday's announcement about the partial interim federal regulations ending discrimination for mental health and addiction disorders earned praise from advocates. Words like "applaud,"commendable" and "victories for fairness" peppered press releases from organizations working to end insurance discrimination. . . []
Psychiatric Solutions: pay raise, lawsuits and a new military contract
Psychiatric Solutions, Inc., a national chain of psychiatric hospitals plagued with state and federal investigations and share-holder lawsuits has received a military contract for serving vets in eight hospitals.. . . []
FDA seeks public comment on ECT
The FDA is asking for comment to determine whether it should reclassify ECT to require "reasonable assurance of the safety and effectiveness" of the mechanical devices used for electroconvulsive therapy. ECT was already in use when the FDA codified mechanical devices, []
Juvenile detention centers, jails, hospitals fail New Yorkers
Too many juveniles are ending up in prisons that are isolating them, failing to meet their mental health needs, absent plans to return successfully to the community, costing too much, and just plain inappropriate says a report commissioned by the Vera Institute.This is just one of the many reports about failures in New York State that are hurting people suffering with a mental illness. []
Syphillis accounted for about 20 percent of the admissions to mental hospitals 100 years ago.
Read more about this is in the Surgeon General's Report on Mental Illness.... []
Georgia hospitals unimproved, says judge
Georgia failed to correct problems leading to federal investigations about abuse in psychiatric hospitals, ruled a federal judge. Judge Charles A. Pannell's decision revealed on-going complaints included cases of sexual assault, suspicious deaths, suicide, and physical abuse in the state's seven-hospital system. . . []
New model in Oregon hospital
Oregon is turning its system of traditional hospitals, with patients in confined rooms or wards, into malls for recovery, encouraging . . . []
Prison chain wants psychiatric hospital
Private prison companies are expanding their operations to include the management of psychiatric hospitals. . . []
Personal narratives of recovery and activism
Three engaging, powerful, personal narratives about managing with a mental illness are available. In the May-June issue of Health Affairs, television news personality Jane Pauley discusses her bipolar disorder, diagnosed when she was 50. And Fred Frese, former president of National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and a psychologist who was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1966, calls for mental health professionals to come out of the closet. His remarks are also available in a webcam of the Health Affairs conference.... []
Public vs. private hospital ownership: Florida
A decision not to allow privatization of a Florida state psychiatric hospital ends a controversy which pitted Florida lawmaker, Rep. Janet Adkins, against lobbying interests for Geo Group Inc. Adkins's husband runs an assisted-care facility doing business with Northeast Florida State Hospital. Geo Group, a firm specializing in private prisons, has been acquiring psychiatric hospitals. Privatization would have saved the state $3 million while it tried to close a budget deficit. ... []
Medicaid policies limit clinically indicated drugs
The irony of trying to save Medicaid money might well result in more expensive human, medical and social costs, conclude the authors of a study of Medicaid management of medication. Medicaid drug policies, it seems, constrain access to preferred psychiatric drugs and thereby increase the likelihood of emergency room use, hospitalization or homelessness, say the authors of a new study in the May issue of Psychiatric Services. The authors base their conclusions, that drug management is based "based primarily on... []
Montana considers hospital diversion
Three proposals to divert people experiencing a mental health crisis from Warm Springs, the state hospital, into community treatment have widespread support but face a veto from Gov. Brian Schweitzer, reports the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. The debate is positioned between those who want to hold the line on spending money for programs for people with mental illness while other budget items have been held in check, versus potential future savings in a state with consistently high suicide rates. ... []
Hospital corporation settles dumping charges
People with untreated mental illness are at risk for homelessness without hospitals dumping them onto the streets. A year-long investigation into College Hospital Costa Mesa, accused of driving discharged patients to Skid Row, a downtown neighborhood with homeless squatters in Los Angeles, resulted in a $1.6 million settlement with the owners. The hospital is one of the properties privately held by College Hospital Enterprises, a company operating two psychiatric hospitals, three skilled nursing facilities, five partial-hospital programs, and two... []
More hospitals announce independence
The medical school at Johns Hopkins University announced a two-stage policy of banning gifts to doctors and ending drug samples for patients. The announcement acknowledged "Industry influence may be subtle, and health care providers often are not aware of the extent to which their judgment may be influenced when they depend on industry to support educational activities or provide drug samples.even small gifts imply reciprocity and that in recent years." Johns Hopkins joins Harvard, which announced a similar policy for... []
State budget fixes
. . .some will hurt more than others []
Neglect in North Carolina hospital
A North Carolina state hospital has been cited for "immediate jeopardy" and may lose federal funding as a result of actions that came to light after a patient attempted to hang herself last month. She previously attempted suicide and had told the nurses of her plans and strategy on this occasion. The hospital has until the end of the month to address how nurses are expected to manage a life-threatening situation, as recounted in an investigation by the Centers for... []
Local mental health programs cut
Services are being curtailed for severally ill children and adults while states slash budgets. Programs slated for downsizing or closing have been reported in: A one-of-a-kind 8-bed program serving about 600 people a year closed in Boise, Idaho . For local residents needing a couple of nights of shelter, the Franklin House helped them avoid using an emergency room and/or hospitalization.The Franklin House budget ran $325,000 but observers guess ER services will cost more. Eleven of 21 clinics in rural... []

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