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Hogg Foundation for Mental Health News and Grants
Hogg Foundation for Mental Health

February, 2011



TribBlog: How Deep Do Medicaid Cuts Go? Health Group Says Cuts More Like 33 Percent

Texas Tribune

January 27, 2011


Lawmakers have proposed cutting Medicaid provider rates 10 percent to help meet the state's budget crisis. But health care groups suggest the cuts are far deeper. In a press conference today, the Texas Health Care Association, which advocates for nursing homes, said the House and Senate's recommended budgets for Medicaid services actually represent a 33 percent cut from current service levels.



State budget cuts may mean hundreds of nursing homes close, industry warns

Dallas Morning News

January 27, 2011


AUSTIN - Hundreds of nursing homes, including dozens in Dallas-Fort Worth, may close if lawmakers cut Medicaid as leaders propose, industry officials said Thursday.



Volunteers conduct homeless count across Dallas-Fort Worth

Dallas Morning News

January 27, 2011


... In Dallas, Faenza said the city has gained ground in the past year by adding hundreds of new homes for homeless people with mental illnesses and other medical conditions. Chronic homelessness decreased 57 percent since 2004, according to the local 2010 count.



Crossroads Community Services program helps ex-offenders get work

Dallas Morning News

January 27, 2011


... Johnson, who has spent most of his adult life in prison, has been trying to put the past behind him since he was released in May 2008. He's getting work experience, compensation, housing assistance and mental health care thanks to a program called Homeless Employment Life Skills Program run by Crossroads Community Services.



Parents Say District's Lax Bullying Policy Caused 9-Year-Old Boy's Suicide in School

Courthouse News Service

January 28, 2011


SHERMAN, Texas (CN) - The parents of a 9-year-old boy who hanged himself in a bathroom at his elementary school say the school district failed to prevent his suicide by ignoring complaints he was being bullied.





House vets chairman says spending review needed

Austin American-Statesman

January 27, 2011


WASHINGTON (AP) - The GOP chairman of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee, Rep. Jeff Miller, promised on Thursday a thorough review of spending for veterans' programs. ... Both Miller and Murray said a top priority is tackling the disability claims backlog that leaves veterans waiting months or even years to get a claim processed.



SAMHSA and Ad Council expand mental health awareness efforts to support families and individuals affected by Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

January 28, 2011


The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in collaboration with the Ad Council today expanded efforts to continue to provide information, support and resources to individuals and families affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Emotional distress resulting from traumatic events can surface years after an incident occurs.



Panel Discusses Integrating Children's Mental Health With Primary Care

Internal Medicine News

January 28, 2011


WASHINGTON - Child obesity and overweight are exacerbating the crisis in untreated child mental illness, according to an expert panel of physicians and health leaders.  ..."We should not forget that obesity and mental health affects every single segment of our society," said former Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona during the event, titled "America's Children at Peril: Solving the Child Obesity and Mental Health Epidemics."



Branstad budget proposal impacts

Des Moines Register (Iowa)

January 27, 2011


... The state's biggest financial challenge is how to cover the always-rising costs of Medicaid, the state and federal health insurance program for the poor. ... His budget also shows more than $15 million in increases on the six state institutes for people with mental illness or disability.



Arizona hospital group wants to assess $300 million bed tax; Plan anticipates a loss of Medicaid payments in proposed budget cuts

Arizona Republic

January 28, 2011


Arizona hospitals want to assess a $300 million bed tax on themselves rather than lose out on Medicaid payments that would be eliminated by proposed state budget cuts. The Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association's proposal calls for a one-year assessment on hospitals that is based on the number of days patients spend in hospitals.



Budget target: mental health?

Health News Florida

January 27, 2011


In the committee rooms and corridors of the state Capitol, lobbyists are looking for clues about which programs will get slashed. On Wednesday, mental-health and substance-abuse programs got more than a clue. In fact, it looked like a bulls-eye. Senate Health and Human Services Appropriations Chairman Joe Negron publicly raised the possibility of making deep cuts to mental-health and substance-abuse programs, as lawmakers grapple with a potential $3.6 billion budget shortfall for the coming year.



Budget cuts yield 'disturbing' trends at state hospitals

KTVB (Idaho)

January 27, 2011


BOISE -- A state Department of Health and Welfare official says budget cuts at Idaho's two state psychiatric hospitals have resulted in disturbing trends, including more assaults on staffers. Mental health services division administrator Kathleen Allyn told lawmakers Thursday that part of the problem is the two hospitals are treating more seriously ill patients with fewer employees.



Consultant to California mental hospitals abruptly resigns

Los Angeles Times

January 28, 2011


A Virginia psychologist who earned millions of dollars as a consultant to California's mental hospitals over nearly nine years has abruptly announced his resignation at a time when the facilities are struggling with increasing violence and staff dissent. Nirbhay Singh was a key architect of the state's plan to transform care at the hospitals, which mostly treat severely mentally ill patients accused or convicted of crimes, to give patients more control of their treatment.,0,2734998.story



8 W.Va. providers sue state over Medicaid payments

San Antonio Express News

January 27, 2011


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - Eight community health centers are suing the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources in federal court, claiming its Bureau for Medical Services has mismanaged Medicaid and underpaid them for at least a decade.



Wis jury returns guilty verdict in fatal stabbing

San Antonio Express News

January 28, 2011


MENOMONIE, Wis. (AP) - A Dunn County jury has returned a guilty verdict that will send a Chippewa Falls man to prison instead of a mental health institution for killing a teenage friend and hiding his body.





Report finds lower insurance premiums, more choices in 2014 for families, businesses under Affordable Care Act

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

January 28, 2011


Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius today released a new report showing how much families and businesses can save on health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs under the Affordable Care Act in 2014 - each year, a low-income family of four could save up to $14,900 and businesses will benefit from the savings and tax credits in the new law.



FACT CHECK: Did gov't stretch health care stat?

The Washington Post

January 28, 2011


WASHINGTON -- It's a striking statistic. Without President Barack Obama's health care law, as many as 129 million Americans - half of those under age 65 - could be denied coverage or charged more because of a pre-existing medical condition. The new estimate by the Health and Human Services Department is more than twice as high as a figure that supporters of the law were using last year. It just might need an asterisk.



Kansas begins lining up ideas to implement federal health care act

Kansas City Star

January 27, 2011


TOPEKA | Kansas is quietly taking steps to prepare for the new federal health care act, even as some of its elected leaders vow to fight to keep the controversial law from going into effect.





Brazil man arrested for locking up wife for years

Austin American-Statesman

January 28, 2011


SAO PAULO (AP) - ... Joao Batista Groppo, 64, was arrested after his wife of 40 years, Sebastiana, was found confined in a "filthy, dark" cellar, said police inspector Jaqueline Barcelos Coutinho. Groppo, who described himself as a retired industrial consultant, said he locked up his 64-year-old wife beginning in 2003 because she is mentally ill and aggressive, the inspector said.





Desperate times: State cuts to legal aid put families at deadly risk. And that's just the half of it.

Houston Chronicle

January 27, 2011


With Texas facing a mammoth budget shortfall for the next two years, essential human services, already lean, will be cut even closer to the bone. And, as is all too often the case, the most vulnerable of our residents will suffer the worst effects. Nowhere is this more painfully obvious than in the current crisis of legal aid funding for Texans who cannot afford civil representation.



Health insurance reform is more complex than knocking down straw men

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

January 26, 2011


It would be easier to take Republicans in Congress seriously on health insurance reform if they didn't keep spouting mischaracterizations and distortions about what really happens in the system today. Let's just take some assertions in a Friday OpEd column our local U.S. House members wrote to justify their vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act.



Medical complex in Galveston is major asset to Texas and to health care

Austin American-Statesman

January 27, 2011


Recently, University of Texas Medical Branch colleagues and I were asked a blunt but reasonable question: In view of the devastation wrought by Hurricane Ike, why should the Texas Legislature continue to invest in a health sciences complex located on a storm-prone barrier island? The reasons are multiple.



What to know about mediation process to settle out-of-network medical bills

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

January 28, 2011


... In the two years the law has been on the books, "We haven't had any actual claims go to mediation," said John Greeley, spokesman for the Texas Department of Insurance in Austin. "We have the structure in place but haven't gotten to that stage."



Cutting Mental Health Now, Paying More Later


January 27, 2011


Arizona's mental health system has faced a great deal of scrutiny since the story of Jared Loughner, the alleged gunman in the Tucson shootings, unfolded on news outlets throughout the world. Critics say that the troubled young man could have been helped by mental health programs in his community, but that two years ago those programs were eliminated when the state cut $65 million from mental health services to shore up its budget deficit.



Brain disease vs. mental illness

The Baltimore Sun

January 27, 2011


When more than 50 percent of the population is deemed sick, the validity of such diagnoses is called into question.,0,2469647.story





Psychopaths' Lack of Empathy Mimics Brain Injury: Research Treatment for frontal lobe damage may also help those with personality disorder

HealthDay News

January 28, 2011

People who have suffered a frontal brain injury have been known to have difficulty showing empathy, and new research shows that people diagnosed as psychopathic also have the same emotional deficiency.



Eating Fatty Foods May Up Your Risk of Depression


January 27, 2011


That old standby about tucking into a pint of ice cream to get over a breakup? Counterproductive, according to a large new study that finds a link between eating trans fats and an increased risk of depression. For the study, researchers in Spain tracked the dietary habits, lifestyles and mental health of 12,059 college graduates (average age 37.5) for six years. None of the participants had depression at the start of the study; by the end, researchers had identified 657 new cases, which were self-reported by the participants in questionnaires filled out every two years.



FDA May Ease Up on Electroshock Devices

HealthDay News

January 27, 2011


Electroshock devices, currently classified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as high risk for the treatment of severe depression, could be downgraded to medium risk this year. An FDA advisory panel is scheduled to meet Thursday to discuss reclassifying the devices, which would pave the way for wider use among people with depression and other mental illnesses.



Hypomania common in young adults

Med Wire News

January 28, 2011


Hypomania affects around one-fifth of young adults, with "bright-side" more common than "dark-side" hypomania, results from a study of students suggest.





Training Teleconference: Housing, Homelessness, and Social Inclusion: Essential Elements of Healthy Communities

SAMHSA's Resource Center to Promote Acceptance, Dignity and Social Inclusion Associated with

Mental Health

January 2011


Homelessness has become a widespread public health issue with an estimated 671,859 people experiencing homelessness on any given night in the United States. Stable housing is an essential human need and is a key social determinant of both health and mental health. Many who become homeless have a history of either childhood or adult trauma, or both, that can lead to the development of mental health problems and/or substance use disorders which become worse when an individual lives on the streets or in shelters. Wednesday, February 23, 2011, 3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. eastern time. Advance registration is required.



Beth Lincoln's new health care book published

St. Helena Star (Calif.)

January 27, 2011


For nurse practitioner Beth Lincoln, the road to successful health care begins with a conversation. Or should. This belief is the premise of Lincoln's cultural diversity seminars for health care providers and of her just-published book, "Reflections from Common Ground ... Cultural Awareness in Healthcare."



How to Assess a College's Mental Health Offerings

The New York Times

January 28, 2011


This week, The Times published two important pieces about college students' emotional health. In an earlier piece, a column that appeared on Monday, Michael Winerip argued that the best college mental health programs were sometimes created in the wake of high-profile tragedies - including several suicides at New York University in 2003-2004. What follows is an exchange with Mr. Winerip, in which I sought guidance from him on how students and parents might assess the mental health offerings at individual colleges.



Stress among college freshmen is easy to detect -- if you're looking

Los Angeles Times

January 27, 2011


We now know that more college freshmen are reporting high levels of stress -- they've told us so. And this could be a warning sign of bigger problems down the road. Stress increases the risk of depression, heart disease and a slew of other medical problems. What does it mean to be stressed-out? The American Institute of Stress cites these 50 common symptoms -- from blushing and sweating to insomnia.,0,2971149.story


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