Advocacy E-News November 7, 2013
November 7, 2013
PANEL EXAMINES SUPERSTORM’S PSYCHOLOGICAL IMPACT
Carolyn Beauchamp, president of the Mental Health Association of New Jersey, said that in the immediate aftermath of disaster, people rally to address physical needs such as food, shelter and safety. As time goes on and the needs diminish, victims can be overwhelmed with sadness or anxiety. The impact on mental health was the subject a panel discussion with community leaders and mental health professionals on the psychological legacy of super storm Sandy.
PROBLEMS AT N.J. BOARDING HOMES FOR MENTALLY ILL PEOPLE
Filthy mattresses, rooms infested with bedbugs, broken windows, people with mental illnesses wandering around in deep distress. Fifty years ago, conditions like these at psychiatric hospitals were one reason that President Kennedy signed into law the Community Mental Health Act, which was supposed to ensure that people with mental illnesses could receive treatment in their communities, rather than in badly run institutions. Five decades later thousands of people with mental illness today are homeless or languish in prisons. And thousands more live in thinly funded “quasi-institutions” that have sprung up to house those who can’t find or afford a more appropriate setting.
J. & J. TO PAY $2.2 BILLION IN RISPERDAL SETTLEMENT
Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay more than $2.2 billion in criminal and civil fines to settle accusations that it improperly promoted the antipsychotic drug Risperdal to older adults, children and people with developmental disabilities, the Justice Department said on Monday. The agreement is the largest in a string of recent cases involving the marketing of antipsychotic and anti-seizure drugs to older dementia patients and children with certain behavioral disabilities.
ACA MEANS CHANGES FOR INDIVIDUALS, SMALL GROUPS PLANS
All individuals and small groups that hold health insurance policies will have to choose a new plan in the coming year. The change in plans comes as a result of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, as well as the decision by New Jersey insurers not to offer policies with the same benefits and cost structures as they did in 2010. The ACA includes a provision that allows plans that didn’t change after 2010 to be grandfathered in without being affected by most of the new regulations. But New Jersey insurers decided against taking advantage of that provision. Compared with plans available before the ACA was enacted, the new plans require that insurers pay for a wider range of preventive services and treat mental illnesses the same as other illnesses.