Monday, April 9, 2012

Monday Already?

Starting the week too tired.  Wishing my life away, hoping Friday comes quickly.  Meanwhile, the news:

The crisis in pain medication in Washington State is now (finally) making national news, but not with the spin I'd have put on it.  Sure, there are issues with doctors over-prescribing, but you can't just cut patients off cold-turkey, which is what many doctors out there have been doing.  I already had one client attempt suicide over it, and another has completely lost her mind. 

You hear people screaming about health reform using government funding to pay for illegal immigrants.  This is completely untrue.  But what do illegal immigrants who get sick here have to do in order to get health care?  Here's a harrowing story with a happy ending for one patient, but a cautionary tale for others

An important article about autism -- rates of autism are rising like mad, and there still are those who believe it's not real.  Can you imagine how hard this is for a parent to navigate?

Horrible news from New York, where advocates had won a court order requiring that mentally ill adults had to be moved out of institutions, only to have a court of appeals say that advocates lacked legal "standing"; in other words, they are not the right people to bring the lawsuit, so the case gets tossed.  What happens to the people who needed help in the first place?  What a sad mess.

A task force in California is seeking to change the mental health commitment law.  The law gave rights to people who previously could have been committed indefinitely and medicated involuntarily.  But they say it's not working very well.  The problem is that they don't have any good solutions, either.

Under health reform, preventive exams are covered without copay or coinsurance -- but it appears that the cost of these services varies widely, and that may mean higher costs borne entirely by insurance -- which, in turn, may mean increased insurance premiums.  They use colonoscopy as an example. In my experience -- and I've had a huge number of colonoscopies -- there's also a wide variety of quality.  You get what you pay for.  I'm not sure an $800 colonoscopy would be worth having.

Arizona got federal approval to expand health care to 22,000 children under the state's Medicaid program.

Here's a cautionary tale -- what happens when you think you're healthy enough to go without insurance.

And that's all I have this morning.  Have a great day!  Jennifer

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