Articles, Leading Stories

February 1st, 2017

Maine Gov. LePage intends to move stepdown unit to Bangor

By Janine Weisman

Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) has moved on after abandoning plans to build a proposed 21-bed stepdown unit next to the Riverview Psychiatric Recovery Center in Augusta. As in nearly 80 miles to the north. Two days before last Christmas, the LePage administration revealed it had picked a site in Bangor to build the psychiatric facility for forensic patients in state custody who no longer need hospital-level care. The new facility is part of the effort to free up space and resolve safety issues that led to the loss of Riverview’s hospital certification in 2013 along with $20 million in [More]

February 1st, 2017

Possible rate cuts of concern in Maine

By Janine Weisman

The Maine Psychological Association’s (MePA) top legislative priority for 2017 can be found on page two of a consultant’s report studying reimbursement rates for mental health services through the state’s Medicaid program. The hourly reimbursement rate for neuropsychological and psychological testing through publicly funded MaineCare health insurance would decrease from $79.20 to $60.41 under a recommendation in the March 2016 report by Phoenix consulting firm Burns & Associates. “The waiting list for Maine-Care for those types of services are already a year long. So if you cut the reimbursement rate dramatically, nobody will offer the services,” said MePA Executive Director [More]

February 1st, 2017

William James College announces availability of scholarships

By Pamela Berard

William James College in Massachusetts announced its Multicultural and Veterans Mental Health Scholarships, aimed at increasing the number of individuals trained and committed to providing mental health treatment for underserved minorities and military veterans, who experience complex mental health issues but often are reluctant to seeking treatment if they feel disconnected from those providing services, according to the college. Nicholas Covino, Psy.D., president of William James College, said he hopes the scholarships inspire and empower students to commit themselves to serve historically marginalized populations. The college cites figures that show almost 90 percent of psychologists are classified as Caucasian/non-Latino. “In [More]

February 1st, 2017

Four New England states among nation’s healthiest

By Janine Weisman

Massachusetts ranked second after Hawaii as the healthiest overall state in the nation in the latest America’s Health Rankings Annual Report released in December 2016. Connecticut ranked third, Minnesota fourth, Vermont fifth and New Hampshire sixth in the 27th annual assessment of the country’s health on a state-by-state basis. The report published by the United Health Foundation measures how health benchmarks in each state change year to year. All New England states landed in the top half of the rankings with Rhode Island at 14th and Maine at 22nd. Maine had the largest decline in rank over the previous year, [More]

February 1st, 2017

ICD-11 release delayed until 2018

By Catherine Robertson Souter

In 2015, the United States belatedly joined the rest of the world in implementing the most updated version of the World Health Organization’s coding system for medical diagnoses, the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, usually referred to as the ICD-10. Although nearly every other country in the world had been using the system since 1994, the process was delayed in this country because of the far more complicated health care system here. The WHO’s ICD coding is used around the world for health diagnoses to ensure that every country is in sync with the most up-to-date research and medical [More]

February 1st, 2017

Addiction Campus opens in Massachusetts

By Rivkela Brodsky

Addiction Campuses, a company based in Brentwood, Tenn., offering comprehensive drug and alcohol treatment programs at facilities around the country has opened its fourth national location in Cummington, Mass., called Swift River. The company, which specializes in alcohol, illegal drug and prescription drug addiction treatment, has three other facilities in Tennessee, Mississippi, and Texas, according to the company’s Web site. “There is a real addiction – especially opioid – epidemic going on in the Northeast, but frankly, it’s really over the entire country,” said Swift River CEO Mark Lancet, MA, NCC, LADC, LPC. “There is a lot a lot of [More]

February 1st, 2017

Surgeon General report: a call to action on addiction

By Rivkela Brodsky

In November 2016, the U.S. Surgeon General for the first time issued a report on alcohol, drugs, and health – calling addiction, “one of America’s most pressing public health issues.” The report, likened to a Surgeon General report on the dangers of smoking issued 50 years ago, was meant as a call to action. The “report aims to shift the way our society thinks about substance misuse and substance use disorders,” reads the report’s executive summary from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General, titled “Facing Addiction in America.” The report also reviews information [More]

February 1st, 2017

APF names Terence Keane, Ph.D., to top post

By Catherine Robertson Souter

After nearly 17 years under the same leadership, the American Psychological Foundation (APF) recently announced that Terence M. Keane, Ph.D, was elected to assume the organization’s top post as of January 1. Keane, who is professor of psychiatry and assistant dean for research at Boston University School of Medicine, stepped in as APF president at the conclusion of a highly successful capital campaign that raised nearly $20 million. Keane is also director of the National Center for PTSD-Behavioral Sciences Division and associate chief of staff for research and development at VA Boston Healthcare Systems and has been recognized with many [More]

January 1st, 2017

Election prompts anxiety, confusion

By Phyllis Hanlon

In the wake of what many print, broadcast and social media outlets have called one of the “most divisive” political campaigns in recent memory, a mixture of emotions ranging from anger to confusion are impacting the country’s psychological health. Some clinicians are seeing an increase in calls for help, while research psychologists attempt to explain the complicated after-effects of the election. In the weeks since the election, Jason Evan Mihalko, Psy.D., private practitioner in Cambridge, Mass., whose patients include many immigrants, people of color and trauma survivors, has received more calls than usual. “It could be the time of year [More]

January 1st, 2017

APA president-elect named

By Janine Weisman

Near the end of the monthly psychology training committee meeting at Boston Children’s Hospital last November, Jessica Henderson Daniel, Ph.D., ABPP, gave the floor to a senior supervising psychologist who said her patients and those of her interns seemed especially anxious after the presidential election a week earlier. The 25 people in the conference room all realized they had similar experiences and wanted to talk more. “You could sort of feel that we were quite engaged with this topic but we didn’t have enough time,” said Eugene J. D’Angelo, Ph.D., ABPP, chief of the Division of Psychology. “There was a [More]

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