By Janine Weisman
Health insurance companies now have a 12-month window to retroactively deny claims they already paid for mental health and substance abuse services in Massachusetts. Language imposing the time restriction on so-called clawbacks was included in the final fiscal 2020 state budget signed into law by Gov. Charlie Baker on July 31. The budget incorporated language from bills in the Senate and House of Representatives that sought to end what mental health providers have long considered an unfair business practice. No time limit for clawbacks previously existed in Massachusetts, while other New England states had laws requiring health plans to initiate [More]
By Susan Gonsalves
Children and young adults with physical conditions like diabetes, ADHD, and asthma are more likely to develop mental health problems according to a U.S. study. The study, led by John Adams, MD, of the Cambridge Health Alliance in Massachusetts, followed 48,572 young people ages 6 to 25 over a two-year-period. The individuals followed did not have mental health issues at the start of the research, but 14.7 percent were coping with physical problems that required treatment or limited their daily life activities. During the course of the study, overall, 7.8 percent of the participants developed a mental health problem. (Broken [More]
By Catherine Robertson Souter
Nearly every state in the U.S. requires continuing education (CE) for renewing a psychology license. The requirements vary from Idaho’s 30 hours every three years to 60 hours every two years in Vermont, Arizona, and Washington. There are a few states that have no required amount of continuing ed credits and South Dakota inexplicably asks for “some” with no guidance on the exact amount. In New England, the requirements vary. New Hampshire and Maine ask for 40 hours every two years, Rhode Island is at 24 and Massachusetts requires 20. Of these hours, each state allows for a certain amount [More]
By Eileen Weber
Three cases—two murder and one attempted murder—were dismissed in Vermont’s Chittenden County by State’s Attorney Sarah George as a result of legal insanity defenses. Some called her decision to dismiss into question, specifically Governor Phil Scott who asked Attorney General T.J. Donovan to review these cases. George, however, felt the governor’s reaction was insulting and set a bad precedent. In a tweet in early June responding to Scott’s request for review, George made it clear that she feels his move is politically motivated. “It is awful that our mental health agencies are failing us, but real leadership requires digging in [More]
By John Grohol, Psy.D.
Nearly every therapist subscribes to an online therapist directory service. Paying hundreds of dollars of a year to be listed in a directory may seem like it makes good business sense for a psychologist in individual practice. But there’s no reason these directories need to cost $300 to over $500 per year for a basic listing. To me, that just seems over-priced. Psych Central is committed to changing the directory space by offering an affordable directory listing to mental health clinicians. Our directory listings are only $9.95/month for a basic listing or $14.95/month for an advanced listing. No annual contracts [More]
By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.
When it comes to wisdom and humor both, there is nothing like the comics in the daily paper. Given the content of the news these days, we need wisdom and humor more than ever. In a recent edition of The Boston Globe, Hilary Price’s strip, “Rhymes with Orange, ”featured a worried looking driver reading a road sign on the “Inner State Highway” bearing this message: “Is it missing your exit that’s bothering you, or something deeper?” The idea of the inner state highway appeals to me as a psychologist. For many of us, it was the first road we learned [More]
By Phyllis Hanlon
The Addiction Center reports that nearly 21 million Americans have at least one addiction; and drug overdose deaths have tripled since 1990. Furthermore, alcohol and drug addiction cost the economy more than $600 billion annually. As addiction continues to take a physical, social and financial toll, mental health professionals strive to help those who struggle. To determine a diagnosis and appropriate course of action, Sean J. McGlew, Psy.D, LP, traumatic stress and addiction psychologist at the Cambridge HealthAlliance outpatient center, created the Comprehensive Use Assessment, a tool that looks at a patient’s current and past relationship with substances, frequency of [More]