US Military Suicides Decreased By 22% This Year.

The AP (11/12, Baldor) reports that, according to officials from the Department of Defense, US military suicides across all branches of the service “have dropped by more than 22 percent this year.” The drop has occurred “amid an array of new programs targeting what the Defense Department calls an epidemic that took more service members’ lives last year than the war in Afghanistan did during that same period.” Nevertheless, officials with the military expressed reluctance “to pin the decline on the broad swath of detection and prevention efforts, acknowledging that they still don’t fully understand why troops take their own lives,” particularly since some suicides occur in service members who have never been deployed to battle.

Modern Healthcare (11/12, Robeznieks, Subscription Publication) reports that the American Psychiatric Association (APA) “says moves by UnitedHealthcare and other insurance companies to drop physicians from Medicare Advantage networks may impede the Obama administration’s goals for healthcare reform.” In aletter (pdf) to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the APA, along with 80 other physician groups, wrote, “The timing of the network modifications, the lack of accurate and reliable information, and lack of network transparency has significant negative ramifications for the administration’s goal of reducing fragmentation of patient care.” The letter cites evidence that the “proposed modification will disrupt long-established patient-physician relationships, interfere with existing physician referral networks, and undermine emergency department coverage in many hospitals.”

Related Links:

— “Apnewsbreak: Military Suicides Drop; Unclear Why, “Lolita C. Baldor, Associated Press, November 11, 2013.

Posted in In The News.