Articles, Leading Stories

May 1st, 2016

Bournewood to debut partial hospital program

By Pamela Berard

Bournewood Hospital, a 90-bed, full-service independent privately-owned psychiatric facility in Brookline, Mass., in May will debut a new Mental Health Partial Hospital Program. The new partial hospital program is a group program providing step-down or diversionary service for adults in mental health crisis who need more intensive treatment than can be provided in an outpatient setting, but who can appropriately receive treatment and services in the community. “The program will help individuals who are not quite ready to resume school or work or who just need more intensive treatment, because a lot of people do well in the hospital then [More]

May 1st, 2016

Brattleboro Retreat seeks state funding for new adolescent unit

By Phyllis Hanlon

When the Brattleboro Retreat was founded in 1834 with a $10,000 bequest from Anna Marsh, the facility served, and continues to serve, a range of patients from children and adolescents to adults. In the ensuing years, the Retreat has undergone several renovations and upgrades; most recently the adult unit received a much-needed refurbishing. The adolescent unit, although it has been upgraded a number of times, is next on the project list. Peter Albert, LSW, senior vice president for government relations at the Brattleboro Retreat, reported that the facility, which has seven inpatient units and serves 14 counties in Vermont, has [More]

May 1st, 2016

Report examines health indicators on county basis

By Rivkela Brodsky

There is something like a chicken-or-the-egg dilemma coming out of a new county-level analysis of U.S. licensed psychologists done by the American Psychological Association’s Center for Workforce Studies. It’s not clear which came first – healthier populations or more psychologists – but the March 2016 report found that counties with a larger concentration of licensed psychologists had comparably higher health indicators. “The pattern of results is very consistent. Areas with more psychologists had healthier populations,” said Karen Stamm, Ph.D., senior research officer for the center and a lead author of the report. It is possible that having more psychologists in [More]

May 1st, 2016

Spring Harbor Hospital to re-open 12 bed unit

By Rivkela Brodsky

Maine’s Spring Harbor Hospital will be able to reopen a previously closed unit of 12 psychiatric beds by the end of September thanks to a good chunk of funding from the state. The hospital in Westbrook, Maine, is set to receive $700,000 from the state to open what was once a children’s unit in the hopes of alleviating lengthy emergency department wait times. The Maine Department of Health and Human Services “is supporting a funding request made by Spring Harbor Hospital to reopen 12 adult psychiatric treatment beds in Westbrook,” said a February news release from the state. Money from [More]

May 1st, 2016

Monks’ visit has impact at Silver Hill Hospital

By Catherine Robertson Souter

Silver Hill Hospital in New Canaan, Conn., works with a variety of clients – those with severe mental illness and addiction as well as clients dealing with chronic pain or eating disorders. They may be young or more mature, have co-occurring disorders and/or be dealing with an on-going issue. They may be a part of the hospital’s inpatient, transitional or intensive outpatient program. No matter what they are dealing with or how the treatment plan has been worked out for that individual, every patient is treated both medically and metaphysically, in a manner of speaking. From lessons on meditation to [More]

May 1st, 2016

Couple adjusts to rural life, career opportunities

By Catherine Robertson Souter

As any realtor will tell you, it’s all about location. For one married psychologist couple just finishing their post-doctoral training in Boston and making decisions about their next steps in life, the real question was not “what to do?” but “where to do it?” In 2010, newly-minted psychologists Adam Ameele, Psy.D., and Kristen Hurd, Psy,D., decided to move to rural Vermont to kick off their careers. While Hurd struck gold with her first opportunity, finding work as the district psychologist for the 1,500-student Springfield school system, Ameele bounced around a bit before landing with the Springfield Medical Care System where [More]

April 1st, 2016

Psychologists call treatment of narcissism a ‘Herculean task’

By Phyllis Hanlon

It’s not unusual to seek attention on occasion. From celebrities who walk the red carpet during special Hollywood events to the three-year old who begs his mother to “Watch me, Mommy,” we all require responsiveness from others at times. But when does attention seeking cross the line from normal to problematic? Rhea Antonio, Psy.D., founder and owner of Back Bay Psychology & Consulting LLC and adjunct faculty member at William James College, explained that individuals who demonstrate an “inflated sense of importance, an excessive need for admiration and lack of empathy for others,” and have difficulty regulating their emotions fit [More]

April 1st, 2016

Insurance department examines handling of claims

By Rivkela Brodsky

To address the opioid addiction issue in New Hampshire and barriers to care, the state’s insurance department began “a targeted examination” in November 2015 of how insurance companies handle claims related to substance use disorders. A preliminary look at claims from January to September 2015 by an independent review organization found that eight of 64 medical necessity denials were challengeable, according to the department. That was out of 11,650 total claims for substance used disorder services. Of the eight denials, five involved disagreement on the level of care needed, such as inpatient or intensive outpatient. “This could indicate a potential [More]

April 1st, 2016

Tufts reaches settlement with AG office

By Phyllis Hanlon

The passage of mental health parity was intended to mandate equality in the care of behavioral issues with that given to physical conditions. In spite of the requirements, some insurers have been found to limit access to certain mental health services. The Massachusetts attorney general’s office recently resolved allegations that Tufts Associated Health Plans restricted member access to Applied Behavioral Analysis therapy, a standard treatment for individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. The AG’s office alleged that Tufts set a policy that required parents to be present during every ABA session in order for the service to be covered. Additionally, [More]

April 1st, 2016

Legislation in response to hike in female veterans’ suicide rate

By Pamela Berard

Proposed legislation would require the Department of Veterans Affairs to develop gender-specific suicide prevention programs. The “Female Veteran Suicide Prevention Act” (H.R. 2915) directs the VA to identify mental health care and suicide prevention programs and metrics that are most effective in treating women veterans. The legislation, passed by the House of Representatives in early February, was in response to an increase in suicide in female veterans detailed in a recent VA study. Researchers tracked more than 174,000 veteran and non-veteran suicides from 2000 to 2010 and found that the rate of suicide among female veterans increased 40 percent during [More]

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