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Latest News Around the Web

Healthcare Overhaul Could Reverse Progress In Mental Health Access

NPR (7/9, Smart) reports in its “Shots” blog that a “little-talked-about” aspect of the Affordable Care Act was increased “access to mental health care for the poor.” The author says that for some individuals, “access to mental health care can mean the difference between” working and not working. In the article, several members of the mental health industry express concern that Medicaid “rollbacks” proposed by Congress could reverse the progress made for people suffering from mental illness.

Related Links:

— “For Many, Medicaid Provides The Only Route To Mental Health Care,” ALISON KODJAK, NPR, July 9, 2017.

Patients With Severe Affective Disorder Less Likely To Require Psychiatric Inpatient Readmission After ECT, Research Suggests.

MD Magazine (7/9, Bender) reported, “Patients with severe affective disorder are less likely to require psychiatric inpatient readmission within 30 days of discharge if they have received electroconvulsive therapy (ECT),” researchers found after analyzing data from “inpatient databases across nine states in” the US. The findings of the study, which included data on some 162,691 patients, were published online June 28 in JAMA Psychiatry.

Related Links:

— “ECT Reduces Hospitalizations Along with Depression,” Kenneth Bender, MD Magazine, July 9, 2017.

Lithium Significantly Reduced Suicidal Behavior Among People With BD

Healio (6/30, Oldt) reported that “lithium, but not valproate, significantly reduced suicidal behavior among individuals with bipolar disorder [BD],” researchers concluded after using “Swedish national register data to follow 51,535 individuals with bipolar disorder from 2005 to 2013 for treatment with lithium and valproate,” then tracking the number of “suicide-related events.” The findings were published online June 9 in the American Journal of Psychiatry, a publication of the American Psychiatric Association.

Related Links:

— “Lithium superior to valproate for suicide in bipolar disorder,” Song J, et al., Healio, June 30, 2017.

Dealing With Compulsive Hoarding Requires Special Expertise

On the front of its Real Estate section, the New York Times (7/2, RE1, Laterman, Subscription Publication) reported in a 1,900-word article that it appears compulsive hoarding “may be more widespread than previously believed, and that dealing with hoarders requires not just caution and care but special expertise.” For this reason, “many building managers and co-op boards confronted with this problem are now turning to clinicians for help.”

The Times pointed out, “The American Psychiatric Association estimates that 2 to 5 percent of the population could be classified as compulsive hoarders.” The Times added, “Once a subcategory of obsessive-compulsive disorder, hoarding received its own designation in the 2013 Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the go-to reference book for mental health professionals published annually by the” APA.

Related Links:

— “Helping Those Who Hoard,” KAYA LATERMAN, New York Times, June 30, 2017.

Experts Warn $45 Billion For Opioid Treatment In ACA Repeal Is Not Enough

The New York Times (6/30, Goodnough, Subscription Publication) reported that although the Senate is considering “adding $45 billion for states to spend on opioid addiction treatment” to shore up GOP support for the healthcare bill, “addiction specialists said it was drastically short of what would be needed to make up for the legislation’s deep cuts to Medicaid, which has provided treatment for hundreds of thousands of people caught up in a national epidemic of opioid abuse.” The Times added that public health experts are particularly “concerned that grants aimed at treatment and recovery would not address a multitude of other physical health problems associated with addiction.”

Related Links:

— “$45 Billion to Fight Opioid Abuse? That’s Much Too Little, Experts Say,” ABBY GOODNOUGH, New York Times, June 30, 2017.

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