Dually Noted from around the web

November 21, 2014 § Leave a comment

Articles, commentary, research, and more from the past week

Mental health group pushes Governor-elect Baker
The Massachusetts chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is urging MA Governor-elect Charlie Baker to take swift action on a number of behavioral health challenges. Among its recommendations, the group wants Baker to “bridge gaps in what private and public insurers reimburse for mental health treatment “and “outline priorities for mental health and addiction services” in his first budget. In addition, a recent survey by NAMI revealed that more than 75 percent of people surveyed believe federal and state governments need to devote more resources and attention to the issue. Sounds like time to act.

Treating “caregiver burden”
The New York Times cites a recent JAMA article that examines the problem of “caregiver burden,” a problem that results from caring for people with chronic illness. Experts say providers have a responsibility to focus on the well-being of these “invisible patients.”

To address caregiver burden, the Commonwealth Care Alliance Health Education and Caregiver Training Department offers a wealth of materials, including tips to help caregivers cope with stress.

Medicare enrollment can be difficult for seniors
Just in time for open enrollment season, a Kaiser Family Foundation study finds that seniors have trouble making informed decisions about their Medicare plan options. Kaiser says that “studies comparing overall quality and access to care between Medicare Advantage plans and traditional Medicare tend to be based on relatively old data, and a limited set of measures.”

At the same time, a report by the Medicare Rights Center claims that seniors enrolling in Medicare “frequently struggle with the mechanics, including enrollment periods, the coordination of benefits rules and penalties associated with delayed enrollment.”

Here in Massachusetts, SHINE (Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Everyone) counselors are available to offer free health insurance information and assistance to residents with Medicare and their caregivers.

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