June 26th, 2020

Domestic violence helpline callers are just trying to manage

By Janine Weisman

Numbers don’t tell the whole story when it comes to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on rates of domestic and family violence. Calls to SafeLink — Massachusetts’ statewide domestic violence hotline at 1-877-785-2020 — initially decreased about a third and then ramped back up in April and May to about 90 percent of what they were pre-pandemic, according to Casa Myrna, Boston’s largest provider of domestic violence shelter and supportive services. Maine’s domestic violence resource centers also saw an initial decline in helpline calls and reach-outs when COVID-19 hit. Then, requests for emergency shelter were significantly down through the [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]

July 4th, 2019

CT bill holds insurance companies accountable

By Eileen Weber

Connecticut’s House of Representatives recently approved a bill requiring insurers to cover mental health and substance abuse treatment at the same level as physical health. Taking a step further, House Bill 7125, known as An Act Concerning Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Benefits, also requires insurance companies to submit annual documentation to prove their compliance with the legislation. Representative Sean Scanlon, (D-Guilford/Branford), chairman of the Insurance and Real Estate Committee, led the House in May to a unanimous vote. The legislation is awaiting action in the Senate. This bill is the second iteration of an earlier version that didn’t [More]

April 7th, 2018

Parting words from our legal columnist

By Edward Stern J.D.

In 2001, I began writing this legal column. Over the years, I’ve written fewer and it is likely this one is the last. I am very appreciative of the opportunity to write and express views in this space, but now it is someone else’s turn with new energy and, perhaps, new viewpoints. It’s become concerning recently that issues that appeared to be resolved have re-surfaced to be debated and adjusted. Issues including “affordable care” and “parity” of treatment of mental health and physical health are again at the forefront. Another major concern is insurance as not all psychologists are able [More]