Dually Noted from around the web

July 2, 2015 § Leave a comment

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

AG examines behavioral health in MA
In a recent health cost trends report, MA Attorney General Maura Healey highlighted the problems caused by the separate systems used for delivering services for medical care and mental health/substance abuse. The report noted the low health insurance pay rate for behavioral health services, recommended a better approach to sharing patient information, and called for improved coordination of care. In announcing the report, Healey said “We need to get to a place where we treat people who’ve got mental health, substance abuse issues in the same way we treat patients with diabetes or with cancer or with broken bones.”

Bill calls for dedicated facilities for behavioral health patients
This week, the Joint Committee on Mental Health and Substance Abuse heard testimony on a proposal to “board behavioral health patients in a dedicated facility until a more permanent placement could be found.” The bill’s sponsors state that placing high-acuity behavioral health patients in emergency rooms is inappropriate for the patient and disruptive to other patients and staff. Moreover, the bill attempts to address the shortage of psychiatric beds in Massachusetts – a problem we at Commonwealth Care Alliance are taking on through our community respite program.

Looking back on the “Olmstead” decision
The “Olmstead” decision, which ensured that Americans with disabilities can live in their communities, rather than be confined in institutions, celebrated its 16th anniversary on June 22. The ICS blog reviews the case and discusses its impact on disabled individuals and advocates.

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