Leading Stories, Articles

February 5th, 2020

Struggle to find affordable, in-network mental health treatment is real

By Janine Weisman

Health insurers are failing to comply with mental health parity laws for Americans with employer-sponsored health coverage and their families, according to a recent report. As a result, there are increasing disparities in access to behavioral health services for employees and their dependents who end up having to seek care from out-of-network providers at higher out-of-pocket costs. The report “Addiction and Mental Health vs. Physical Health: Widening disparities in network use and provider reimbursement” outlines problems with access to affordable in-network care for mental illness and substance use disorders. The report by the independent actuarial and research institution consulting firm [More]

February 5th, 2020

Urban or rural? Psychologists weigh the pros & cons

By Catherine Robertson Souter

When looking to set up or join a new psychological practice, there are so many questions to address. Whether it’s an early career choice, a move to a new part of the country, or a therapist looking to make major changes, the first hurdle is deciding where to practice. What matters most to you in your surroundings from both a personal and professional point of view? From the two extreme opposites, urban versus rural settings, we draw our examples today. (Suburban-based psychologists will fall somewhere in between the two, with access to a larger amount of resources, a bit more [More]

February 5th, 2020

Are more psychologists serving only self-pay patients? Difficulties with insurance companies highlighted

By Catherine Robertson Souter

The complaints documented in a 2019 survey released by the Connecticut Psychological Association (CPA) illustrate the on-going difficulties that psychologists have with insurance companies. From understanding administrative requirements, to filing claims, following up on reimbursements, submitting further documentation, waiting on telephone hold, and accepting low reimbursement rates, the range of complaints covers just about every step of the process. It would be no wonder if, as recent news and opinion articles posit, fewer and fewer psychologists are agreeing to join insurance panels, leaving patients with nowhere to turn. While it is difficult to ascertain just how many psychologists currently accept [More]

February 4th, 2020

Opioid crisis escalates need for foster care

By Eileen Weber

It’s no secret that the opioid crisis has taken a toll in this country. But according to the CDC’s National Center for Health statistics, the New England states have been hit hardest. Fentanyl was the leading cause of overdose deaths in the country in 2017. In New England alone, there were 22.5 fentanyl overdoses per 100,000 people. And of the New England states, New Hampshire has one of the highest rates of opioid-related overdose deaths nation-wide. But those suffering from addiction aren’t the only ones impacted; so are their children. More than 400,000 kids in the United States are in [More]

February 4th, 2020

Survey: Mass shootings, healthcare among top stressors

By Susan Gonsalves

Healthcare, mass shootings and the 2020 election are among the top stressors for Americans according to a survey by the American Psychological Association. Between August 1 and Sept. 2, 2019, the poll asked 3,617 adults to rate their level of stress as well as identify a variety of potential sources. Concerns about healthcare significantly affect about seven in 10 adults. More than half (64 percent) acknowledge that healthcare is stressing them out as least “sometimes.” Individuals with private insurance (71 percent) are more likely than those with public insurance (53 percent) to cite it as a stressor. Additionally, 55 percent [More]

January 5th, 2020

Hearing raises issue of parity, insurance rates

By Catherine Robertson Souter

As required by state law, the New Hampshire Insurance Department (NHID) hosts a public hearing each year to talk about health care costs and trends. The 2019 hearing, held in October, focused on the number of residents covered by insurance and the state’s progress on mental health parity. Eireann Sibley NHID communications director noted that the hearings are for the public and regular attendees include insurance company representatives, providers, academics, health care advocates, and legislators. According to published reports culled from data submitted by health insurance companies, the uninsured rate in New Hampshire did not change drastically in 2018 from [More]

January 5th, 2020

Second coerced suicide case adds urgency to Conrad’s Law passage

By Phyllis Hanlon

Two recent cases of “coerced” suicide in Massachusetts prompted legislators to file a bill that would criminalize intimidating behavior and strong-arm tactics that cause another to commit suicide. In 2014, Michelle Carter encouraged her boyfriend Conrad Roy to take his own life. More recently, Inyoung You allegedly pressured Boston College student Alexander Urtula to kill himself. In July 2019, state representative Natalie M. Higgins, (D-Worcester’s 4th district) and Senator Barry R. Finegold (D-Second Essex and Middlesex) filed the bill, known as Conrad’s Law, as the judicial committee was wrapping up its session. “We want to make clear to the community [More]

January 5th, 2020

Spotting the lie: Study finds a more accurate measure of honesty

By Margarita Tartakovsky, MS

One of the first patients August Price, M.A., saw at his practicum at the Boston VA was deemed a malingerer by an outside neuropsychologist because he’d failed validity testing. However, after Price conducted an extensive assessment, it turned out that the man actually had early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. “This made me realize that the field could be doing better in screening for effort in geriatric populations,” said Price, a fifth-year clinical psychology student at William James College in Newton, Mass. This experience inspired Price to focus his doctoral research on a more accurate way to measure malingering—by monitoring electrical activity in [More]

January 5th, 2020

Giving back to the community

By John Grohol, Psy.D.

Few psychologists get into the profession for the enormous paycheck. Over the years, my colleagues have shared a range of reasons why they decided to become a psychologist. Not once has someone mentioned money. Many of us already give back to the community in some way. Whether it’s through volunteer work for a favorite charity, stepping up to help out with a local sports team, or helping out at school or the library, there are a multitude of volunteer opportunities from which to choose. Psychologists can give back more in one way—that is, by doing work for people who might [More]

January 5th, 2020

Survey: Mass shootings, healthcare among top stressors

By Susan Gonsalves

Healthcare, mass shootings and the 2020 election are among the top stressors for Americans according to a survey by the American Psychological Association. Between August 1 and Sept. 2, 2019, the poll asked 3,617 adults to rate their level of stress as well as identify a variety of potential sources. Concerns about healthcare significantly affect about seven in 10 adults. More than half (64 percent) acknowledge that healthcare is stressing them out as least “sometimes.” Individuals with private insurance (71 percent) are more likely than those with public insurance (53 percent) to cite it as a stressor. Additionally, 55 percent [More]