Category Archives: Mental health

The Social Determinants of Addiction

By | February 15, 2018

Opioid use is a serious concern that the executive branch of the United States government recently declared a public health emergency. Based on data from the Department of Health and Human Services, in 2016, 2.1 million people misused prescription opioids for the first time, and 42,249 people died from overdosing on opioids. Also in 2016, 170,000… Read More »

Why Aren’t We Expanding Medicaid to Address the Opioid Epidemic?

By | February 7, 2018

Now more than ever, we need a sensible, unified, national response to the opioid epidemic; a response that recognizes the gravity of the situation and the reality that opioid use disorder (OUD) is a chronic – and treatable – condition. While there are many preventive measures that could pay dividends down the line, such as… Read More »

The Effect of Co-Payments on Incarcerated Women

By | January 11, 2018

Prisoners have a fundamental right to receive health care while incarcerated, a right that is mandated by the US Supreme Court. However, negligent care in prisons persists and is often an issue of limited access due to cost mitigating policies. Since the 1990’s, prison systems have integrated managed care strategies, like co-payments, to mitigate increasing… Read More »

How do mental health conditions contribute to preventable hospitalizations?

By | December 21, 2017

What role does mental health play in preventable hospitalizations?  In a new article in the January 2018 issue of Medical Care, Dr. Laura Medford-Davis and colleagues report that in Texas, mental illnesses were associated with higher odds of preventable hospitalizations. Using an administrative database of all Texas hospital admissions from 2005-2008, the authors found that 13% of… Read More »

Interpersonal Violence, Behavioral Health, and the Need for Improved Healthcare Delivery for Sex Trafficking Victims

By | December 14, 2017

Each year, millions of people around the world are victims of human trafficking. In the US, the National Human Trafficking Hotline, which maintains one of the most extensive data sets, received 13,897 calls in 2017, with 4,460 human trafficking cases reported. Of the 4,460 cases reported, 3,186 cases were of sex trafficking and 689 cases were… Read More »

Despite ACA mandates for states to streamline renewal, many beneficiaries still need assistance to retain Medicaid coverage

Enrollment in Medicaid has been shown to enhance access to health care for our nation’s most vulnerable citizens. Yet despite these benefits, a substantial number of beneficiaries lose coverage at the time of renewal. An article by Xu Ji and colleagues, published in this month’s issue of Medical Care, demonstrates how critical maintaining continuous Medicaid coverage… Read More »

Patterns of Opioid Use and Risk of Opioid Overdose

By | July 6, 2017

Opiate overdose is now the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, killing more than 50,000 people in 2015. About 20,000 of those deaths were attributed to the use of prescription opiate medications. As a physician, I want to alleviate my patients’ pain, but I have also taken an oath to do my… Read More »

Intimate Partner Violence: The Under-Addressed Pandemic

By | March 23, 2017

Violence against women and girls is an international concern that cuts across all sectors of society. The United Nations defines violence against women as “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary… Read More »

The childhood roots of health inequity: Part 3 – Dr. Kerith Conron

By | March 13, 2017

This post is the third in our series focusing on presentations that were delivered at a special panel session at APHA16 on the childhood roots of health inequity [part 1, part 2]. Our third presenter, Kerith Conron, ScD, MPH, is currently the Blachford-Cooper Distinguished Scholar and Research Director at The Williams Institute of UCLA’s School… Read More »

Data sharing between patient-centered medical homes and addiction treatment providers

By | November 17, 2016

In my medical practice, lacking the tools to communicate meaningfully with other providers who are caring for my patients is a daily frustration. This is only magnified when it comes to caring for my most vulnerable patients who have difficulty communicating for themselves, such as those suffering from substance use disorders (SUDs), so I was… Read More »

Healthcare Utilization Rates after Oregon’s 2008 Medicaid Expansion: The Long View

By | October 28, 2016

Expanding health insurance coverage may improve health care access [PDF] and reduce financial stress [PDF]. Ideally, having health insurance and the resultant access to care should improve health outcomes and well-being, although the evidence is complicated and mixed. One thing is sure: expanded insurance coverage typically leads to more utilization – a concern for policymakers and administrators because… Read More »

Do financial incentives affect the delivery of mental health care?

By | October 13, 2016

Paying for value, rewarding high-value care, pay-for-performance—all are examples of terminology used to describe aligning financial incentives with clinical goals and processes. Essentially, these policies and programs seek to link quality to payment and their influence is growing, extending even to Medicare. While these concepts have been discussed repeatedly by many in healthcare, including the… Read More »