Virginia Advocate's Supreme Court Success No Guarantee
Cheers last month for a Supreme Court decision allowing a state agency in Virginia to sue in federal courts may have been premature. In a 6 to 2 decision, the Court did not require Virginia to turn over documents related to neglect, abuse, suspicious deaths, or other violations that first sparked the case. Staff writer Angela Wilson explains. . . []
Medicaid fraud for psychological services of deceased
The Department of Justice has charged a Georgia doctor with questionable Medicaid and Medicare billing for more than $2 million for psychological services. . . []
Key Judges Have Health Care Investment Conflicts
Conflicts-of-interest could affect judges whose investments might collide with cases they hear. The Center for Public Integrity examines three judges whose investments included mutual funds with holdings in pharmaceutical companies appearing before them. []
Deportation fears grip Georgia's children
...a mental health crisis in the making []
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." []
Kagan for Supreme Court
. . .hard to read []
Seroquel settlement at $520 million
Admitting no wrong doing, AstraZeneca is expected to settle charges about off-label marketing Seroquel, according to a report in the New York Times. The British pharmaceutical still faces 25,000 law suits. . . []
Nebraska links abortion to mental health screening
TTo further restrict women's choice about abortion, the Nebraska legislature passed a bill requiring physical and mental health exams before performing the medical procedure. Proponents of the measure, which passed 40 to 9, say they want to learn whether women were pressured into the decision as well as to alert them to the risk factors following it. Opponents view it as a smokescreen to restrict women's rights to a legal, medical procedure. It also runs the risk of pathologizing a woman's choice using mental health criteria. . . []
Jury favors AstraZeneca in Seroquel trial
A jury decided AstraZeneca provided adequate warnings about side effects of Seroquel causing diabetes. The month-long trial in New Jersey has been carefully watched by 26,000 people with similar claims. The 7-1 ruling left unanswered whether the drug used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder contributed to the onset of diabetes. . . []
State news: Florida, Illinois, MInnesota
Illinois was ordered ordered to move people out of a state hospitals and nursing homes and into the community by the end of the year. A similar decision was made in New York. According to the the Chicago Sun Times. Illinois spends more to keep adults in institutions than any other state. . . []
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. . . []
Trial over Seroquel side effects continues
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Seroquel watchers have been reporting on the New Jersey trial of AstraZeneca, alleged to have had prior knowledge of side effects of Seroquel causing excessive weight gain leading to diabetes, and heart disease. Internet coverage includes. . . []
Judge scolds NY: adult homes unacceptable
A New York judge ruled that adult homes are unacceptable when it comes to finding the least restrictive housing for people with a mental illness. Within four years all current residents must be afforded a placement . . . []
Eli Lilly: CEO gets raise, more Zyprexa law suits settled
Eli Lilly joins the list of companies with CEO's earning hefty compensation this year. John Lechleiter's earning package for 2009 was reported at $20.9 million, . . . []
A trial, and an ad, featuring Seroquel
. . .evidence vs. spin []
For-profit Chicago nursing home threat to mentally ill
Physical abuse, over-medication, inappropriate patient population, and neglectful care to 300 mentally ill patients led the federal government to halt Medicaid funding from a for-profit nursing home. The courts, and the Department of Health and Human Services agree that the residents of Somerset Place in Chicago have been ill served by the partially family-owned company. . . []
Lilly beats back Mississippi over Zyprexa
A US District Court judge dismissed use of a statistical summary to prove Zyprexa's side effects boost Medicaid costs in Mississippi. []
New York offers fewer apartments than court orders
Last week New York State proposed aremedial plan to meet a judge's demand for appropriate, supported housing, for 4,300 people living in 28 adult homes. []
Obama ready to outlaw hate crimes
Disabilities will be protected under federal provisions of hate crimes in new law on the way to President Obama's desk for signature. Not all lawmakers agreed that the federal government should play a role in federalizing hate crimes. According to the New York Times "Senator Jim DeMint, Republican of South Carolina, said he agreed that hate crimes were terrible. "That's why they are already illegal," Mr. DeMint said, asserting that the new law was a dangerous, even "Orwellian" step toward... []
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. . . []
Unions sue for mental health services in D.C.
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In Washington, D.C., unions are suing the Department of Mental Health where budget, not quality concerns, have led to outsourcing mental health services despite insufficient staff to absorb the need. . . []

Court to New York: stop segregating mentally ill residents
. . .addressing wrongs []
Justice Sonia Sotomayor
What can we expect from Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor? "A bright future," says the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law. In a review of her qualifications prior to yesterday's confirmation, the Bazelon Center analyzed decisions about: reasonable accommodation, social security benefits, guardianship, and workplace discrimination. The report from Bazelon can be downloaded here.... []
Good news-bad news for AstraZeneca
Between celebrating the Canadian approval of Seroquel to treat major depression, then learning the the Netherlands denied approval for the same, AstraZeneca has had quite a ride. In the courts a similar see-saw is taking place. A judge dismissed a case in Del. charging diabetes was the result of Seroquel This is the third case dismissed, and the only potential jury trial. They have drawn considerable attention and new cases are scheduled in New Jersey and New York. Documents have... []
Awards for stories about mental illness
The Association of Health Care Journalists announced five of its annual awards will go to reporters who have written about mental illness. They are: •Mary Carmichael of Newsweek for a story detaiiling how bi-polar disorder dominates the life of one youngster and his parents. •Randy Dotinga, of Voice of San Diego, for a story about the bridge in San Diego which has been used by people intending suicide since 1973. •Sharon Salyer and Alejandro Dominguez, of the Daily Herald in... []

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