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Reduced Antipsychotics Recommended for Dementia

The American Psychiatric Association released revised guidelines in May for the limited “judicious use” of antipsychotic drugs to treat agitation or psychosis in patients with dementia. A statement announcing the new recommendations pointed out that they are evidence-based and should be just one part of a comprehensive treatment plan. “…Clinical trials show little benefit from […]

July 27, 2016

Federal Court Upholds New York SAFE Act

New York’s three-year-old gun-control SAFE Act, which requires psychologists and other mental health workers to report clients they feel are a danger to themselves or others, has been ruled constitutional by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan. The court found the SAFE Act as well as a similar law enacted in Connecticut […]

January 18, 2016

The making of a black psychologist: A personal perspective

As I look back on my life, growing up as a little black boy in the 1950s, in the sweltering heat of the segregated state of Alabama, many things are vivid in my memory. Because of all the injustices I’ve experienced, my psyche has been negatively affected. Many black people who have gone through similar […]

September 15, 2013

Colleague assistance programs growing

Since 1980 the American Psychological Association (APA) has acknowledged the existence of distressed and impaired psychologists and the need to provide adequate and appropriate assistance. Today assistance is active in many states through colleagues assistance programs (CAPs) of State, Provincial and Territorial Psychological Associations (SPTAs, APA Division 31).

September 15, 2013

From the Latest Issue...

Changes to Billing Codes Implemented on Oct. 1

ICD-10 billing codesTo make the transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 somewhat easier no deletions, additions or wording changes were allowed to the ICD-10 formalized several years ago. However, the moratorium has run its course and changes to the diagnoses and code numbers to be used for documentation and billing for services rendered after Oct. 1 were recently finalized by the National Center for Health Statistics at the Center for …

October 18, 2016 | Read the story »

Direct Secure Messaging Best Electronic Option for Mental Health Records

Electronic Medical RecordsThe Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandates increased communication between medical providers that creates significant challenges for psychologists and other mental health professionals (MHPs). In particular, use of Electronic Health Records (EHRs) raises concerns about the potential unrestricted flow of Protected Health Information (PHI) about mental health services among the patient’s medical professionals.

There are also emerging pressures from other oversight and regulatory bodies, such as the Centers for …

October 18, 2016 | Read the story »

Cannabis Research Growing

cannabis research growingDenver – Chinese and other Asians began ingesting cannabis 12,000 years ago. It was brought to North America for the first time by the Spanish in the 1500s, and Jamestown settlers introduced hemp a short time later.

But, it wasn’t until Ralph Mechoulam discovered THC in 1964 that researchers were given something to hang their hats on in the search for scarce research dollars. During its long and …

October 17, 2016 | Read the story »

CMS Proposes Payment Model for Integrated Care

Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)A growing body of evidence suggests coordination and collaboration between primary care and behavioral health providers improves patient care and reduces costs, but the unanswered question has been how to pay for it.

Beginning a year’s trial in January 2017, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has enabled providers who work in centers that have adopted a Collaborative Care Model (CoCM) developed …

October 17, 2016 | Read the story »

U.S. House Approves Mental Health Measure

H.R. 2646, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act 422-2 The U.S. House passed H.R. 2646, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act 422-2 in July and forwarded it for Senate consideration.

Lead sponsors of the measure are Reps. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., a clinical psychologist, and Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas.

Susan H. McDaniel, Ph.D., president of the American Psychological Association (APA), called the passage “a major success,” adding, “The …

October 17, 2016 | Read the story »

Vermont Bans Conversion Therapy

Conversion Therapy Banned in VermontVermont has become the fifth state to ban the use of conversion therapy on patients younger than 18.

The overwhelming voice vote against the therapy that seeks to turn gay individuals into straight ones was enacted after a plea from gay legislator State Sen. Becca Balint of Windham County. She said that while being gay is still unacceptable in many families, “We’re not trying to interfere …

October 17, 2016 | Read the story »