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Mental Health News Bulletin

Welcome to our Mental Health News Bulletin!

We will be regularly publishing articles and new related to mental health, billing, health insurance, and more directly on our blog! As we monitor trends in the industry we want you to be kept up to speed on the latest news, so we will be publishing regular news updates.

Stay tuned for more, but for now here is our news bulletin:

Ready for Medicare open enrollment? Here's how to make sure you're in the right plan

With October on the horizon, it’s time for seniors to prepare for that annual checkup – on their health, as well as existing health insurance plans.

“Ask yourself ‘Is my current plan meeting my needs or is there something better out there?’ You want to maximize your coverage and dollars, and make sure you’re in the right plan for you,” says Tom Gilsdorf, director, Medicare Advantage Business Unit, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE).

Read more here.

New CAPS Resource Connects Campus with Off-Campus Mental Health Services

Pat Walker Health Center's Counseling and Psychological Services has partnered with ThrivingCampus to help increase access to community-based mental health services for the campus community.

ThrivingCampus offers a robust, online database that makes it easier for students, faculty and staff to connect with off-campus mental health providers who are a good fit for them.

Read more here.

Doped Up and Depressed

If the Mono County Community Health Assessment is anything to go by, the County may be facing severe public health issues.

At the regular meeting of the Mono County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday in Bridgeport, Mono County Public Health Director Sandra Pearce outlined a comprehensive picture of current public health conditions that featured some surprising, if not outright shocking, information.

The Health Assessment focused on four aspects of public health that the community and stakeholders had identified as important health concerns: substance abuse, behavioral health, clinical care, and dental care.

Read more here.

Behavioral health grant could have implications for local counties

A program that helps people with serious mental illnesses or emotional disturbances might come to Wexford County.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced recently that the Michigan Health Endowment Fund gave the department $500,000 to expand the Behavioral Health Home (BHH) program. BHH “integrates physical and behavioral health care services for Medicaid beneficiaries with serious mental illness or serious emotional disturbance,‘ according to a news release.

The program already exists in Grand Traverse and Manistee counties. With the additional funds, the program could expand to other Northern Michigan counties.

Read more here.

Guilty plea expected in medical billing case

A Kailua doctor is expected to admit in federal court that he billed Medicare, Medicaid, HMSA and TRICARE, the health care benefit program for military service members, nearly $1 million for services he never provided and agree to pay back the money he collected.

Read more here.

Understanding Surprise Medical Bills Legislation

There's legislation in Congress to curb surprise medical billing. NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro talks with Emmarie Huetteman of Kaiser Health News.

Read more here.

Despite Trump’s promises, access to VA mental healthcare remains elusive

Earlier this year, the Trump administration purged 270,000 pending Veteran's Affair applications that were the subject of multiple ongoing congressional committee & Government Accountability Office investigations.

Dr. Richard Stone, head of the Veteran’s Health Administration, known as VHA, allegedly consented to the purge during a site visit to VA’s national enrollment office in Atlanta, which manages the VHA enrollment system one week after the mass shooting in Thousand Oaks, California, by a 28-year-old Marine Corps veteran.

This betrays promises President Trump made on the campaign trail and since becoming president.

Trump heavily courted the veteran community for political support during his 2016 campaign for the White House. Their support was critical to his election victory over Secretary of State Hilary Clinton.

But Trump’s policies have done little to change the corrosive culture at VA or to improve access to care for veterans, mental health services, or suicide prevention.

Read more here.

Suicide of prominent pastor Jarrid Wilson forces church leaders to confront mental health

After the suicide Monday of Jarrid Wilson, a well-known pastor in the evangelical community, Christian leaders across the country are grappling with how to address and help believers struggling with depression and anxiety – including when those struggling are the ones leading the church. Recent decades have seen more churches embrace compassion and turn away from longtime teachings about suicide and the afterlife.

Read more here.

Bright spot: High schools that offer free mental health care

While mental health resources can be difficult for children and teens to come by, Multnomah County has one source of free help available to Multnomah residents ages 5 to 18: school-based student health centers.

Multnomah County’s eight student health centers, located in high schools in Portland Public Schools and the Parkrose, Centennial and David Douglas school districts, each have a mental health counselor to provide outpatient therapy. A growing number also have a behavioral health specialist who can address mental health concerns that don’t require intensive therapy.

Read more here.

Why is it so hard to get a psychiatric appointment?

We are messed up in this country. We talk about fixing things with taking away guns; yeah, that could help, but what about mental health services? We have a long way to go to fix that. In the past five days, I have called 13 psychiatrist offices for an appointment and still don’t have one because they don’t know my therapist, I’m too old, have the wrong insurance and so on.

September happens to be suicide prevention month. Suicide is a growing epidemic and many of the people who could help others won’t.

I am college educated with insurance; I can’t imagine how difficult this process would be if I were on the edge. We have all witnessed what happens then.

We are broken, and I still am without an appointment.

Read more here.

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