Advocacy E-News August 16, 2016
August 16, 2016
STATE TO EXPAND MEDICAID WAIVER AFFECTING LONG-TERM CARE
Four years into a demonstration project that affected the way tens of thousands of Medicaid patients received long-term care and other services, New Jersey plans to seek federal permission to build on the project’s reforms with other changes. In a draft application for an additional five years’ waiver, DHS has proposed to continue the managed care effort. It also aims to expand managed care coverage to those receiving treatment for mental health or substance abuse issues.
WHY N.J. MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES ARE AT RISK
In January, Gov. Chris Christie pledged more than $100 million in state and federal funds to boost New Jersey’s meager reimbursement rates for addiction and mental health treatment providers who serve the poorest patients. But a month into the new fiscal year with the infusion of $124 million in mostly federal funds, mental health and addiction treatment providers warn the state’s new payment structure could actually eliminate services for thousands of patients.
THE PSYCHIATRIC QUESTION: IS IT FAIR TO ANALYZE DONALD TRUMP FROM AFAR?
In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association adopted what became known as the Goldwater Rule, declaring it unethical for any psychiatrist to diagnose a public figure’s condition “unless he or she has conducted an examination and has been granted proper authorization for such a statement.” The 2016 Republican nominee’s incendiary, stream-of-consciousness pronouncements have strained that agreement to the breaking point, exposing divisions in the field over whether such restraint is appropriate today.
SOME GREAT LEADERS HAD MENTAL ILLNESS – IT MAY HAVE HELPED
Some of America’s greatest leaders in history have had mental health problems and it may have helped in times of crisis, psychiatrists and psychologists said. Presidents Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy, along with Civil War generals Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman and civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., all struggled with mental health issues. Tufts University psychiatry professor Dr. Nassir Ghaemi author of the book “A First-Rate Madness: Uncovering the Links between Leadership and Mental Illness,” used medical and historical records to analyze historical figures.
AN ALTERNATIVE FORM OF MENTAL HEALTH CARE GAINS A FOOTHOLD
For the first time in this country, experts say, psychiatry’s critics are mounting a sustained, broadly based effort to provide people with practical options, rather than solely alleging abuses like overmedication and involuntary restraint. The Open Dialogue approach involves a team of mental health specialists who visit homes and discuss the crisis with the affected person — without resorting to diagnostic labels or medication, at least in the beginning.
Some psychiatrists are wary, given that rigorous research on these alternatives is scarce.
N.J. COUNTY BECOMES THE FIRST TO HOUSE ALL HOMELESS VETERANS
The Army vet had spent his entire life bouncing from one family member to the next. Things took a turn for the worse after he suffered an injury that forced him from his job as a cook.
After spending six months at Bergen County Housing, Health, and Human Services Center, he became determined to live alone. And the help of the center, county and partner organizations, he was able move into his own place for the very first time. He is one of the success stories that led the federal government to certify Bergen County as the first county in the state to eliminate homelessness among veterans, an accomplishment that was celebrated Wednesday by county, federal and local officials.