Advocacy E-News July 11, 2017
July 11, 2017
CHRISTIE’S SUMMER SURPRISE: MOVE MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES TO HEALTH DEPT
Gov. Chris Christie wants to transfer responsibility for New Jersey’s four state psychiatric hospitals, community-based mental health and addiction services, and other behavioral health programs from the Department of Human Services to the Department of Health later this summer.
The surprise move – which has triggered concerns among some lawmakers and advocates asking for more discussion.
ADDICTION TREATMENT IN JEOPARDY IF U.S. SENATE HEALTH BILL PASSES, N.J. DEMOCRATS SAY
Treatment for thousands of New Jersey residents addicted to painkillers and heroin would be eliminated and health coverage cut for hundreds of thousands more under the Senate Republicans’ proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act, the state’s Democratic senators and a pair of congressmen warned Thursday. Addiction services would be affected in two ways: by the loss of Medicaid coverage for many of those who need treatment and by the proposal to allow health insurers to offer less comprehensive policies, which could exclude mental-health and substance-abuse treatment.
TOUGH QUESTION FOR HOSPITALS: WHO’S TOO RISKY TO RELEASE?
Four days before Alexander Bonds ambushed and killed a New York City police officer, he was in a hospital emergency room getting a psychiatric evaluation. The hospital released him the same day. The decision was one psychiatrists across the country make regularly: whether patients pose enough danger to themselves or others to require hospitalization. Practitioners say that it’s often a difficult call to make and that even an experienced evaluator can’t predict someone’s behavior.
BILL ADDRESSING LACK OF ACCESS TO MENTAL HEALTHCARE PASSES ASSEMBLY
Legislation Assemblywoman Nancy F. Muñoz sponsors to help address the lack of access to psychiatric care in New Jersey was approved today by the Assembly. The bill (S2331/A3962) creates a tuition reimbursement program for psychiatrists who work in underserved areas of the state. Earlier this week, a newspaper reported that an exodus of psychiatrists is putting a strain on mental health care in New Jersey. Some doctors are taking jobs in the private sector while others are retiring, which means fewer doctors for more patients.