Leading Stories, Interviews

March 26th, 2020

Boston Child Study Center had head start in rapid shift to 100% telehealth

By Janine Weisman

Prep work required for clinicians to deliver remote treatment effectively, founder says The coronavirus pandemic forced the temporary closure of many mental health treatment programs for high risk youth, leaving them without the structure, social interaction, and emotional support essential to recovery. The Boston Child Study Center was in a good position to bridge this gap. In January, 40 percent of patients served by its offices on Boylston Street and in Natick, Massachusetts, saw a therapist virtually and 60 percent of patients served by its Los Angeles office did. As part of the center’s shift to 100 percent telehealth delivery, [More]

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

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

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 4th, 2020

VT legislators seek to close gap in criminal justice, mental health systems

By Phyllis Hanlon

Earlier this year, three high-profile criminal cases were dropped when Vermont’s attorney general deemed the defendants insane at the time the crimes were committed. The ruling drew questions about the way the state handles criminal cases involving people with mental illness. To address this issue, lawmakers proposed legislation to bridge the gap. State Senator Richard Sears (D-Bennington County and Wilmington) reported that the bill is still in the draft stage and is the result of collaboration with several other senators and the office of states attorneys. “I expect once introduced in January both Senate Judiciary and Senate Health and Welfare [More]

January 4th, 2020

Getting inside the consumer’s mind: Specialty examines range of human behavior

By Phyllis Hanlon

Consumer psychology can be defined as the examination of why people buy things, which involves cognitive processes, and response to the influence of marketing, according to study.com. The discipline looks at a wide range of human behavior and refers not only to shopping for tangible goods, but also pertains to the consumption of entertainment and experiences as well as attitudes and motivation underlying purchasing decisions. Several industries employ consumer psychologists, from universities and financial institutions to high-tech companies and manufacturing operations, each with its own unique area of concentration. According to Erin Percival Carter, Ph.D, assistant professor of marketing at [More]

January 4th, 2020

Brown University research aims to tackle opioid crisis

By Eileen Weber

Brown University’s School of Public Health has an idea that might impact Rhode Island’s opioid crisis. The school’s researchers have received a five-year $6.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health for a two-pronged project. The first part will focus on determining at-risk neighborhoods while the second part will be administering test strips to determine if drugs have been tainted by fentanyl. Ultimately, the hope is that this action can reduce the number of drug-related deaths in the state. “Both projects are trying to bring innovative technologies to help solve the overdose crisis,” said Brandon Marshall, an associate professor [More]

January 4th, 2020

Mass. Attorney General brings Sandy Hook Promise to schools

By Eileen Weber

On December 14, 2012, 20 first grade children and six teachers lost their lives in the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Mark Barden lost his son Daniel, age seven, that day. Since then, Barden, along with several of his fellow grieving parents, put together a foundation and service program to teach about the connection between mental health and gun violence in this country. They call it the Sandy Hook Promise, or SHP. SHP focuses on educating and mobilizing parents, schools, and communities on mental health and wellness programs that identify, intervene, and help at-risk individuals [More]