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Hogg Foundation for Mental Health News and Grants
Hogg Foundation for Mental Health

January, 2012



Interactive: Who Are the Uninsured in Texas?

Texas Tribune

January 26, 2012


Nearly a quarter of the Texas population lacked health insurance in 2010, according to the most recent data released by the American Community Survey, which the U.S. Census Bureau conducted. That's more than 5.7 million Texans. It's likely that someone you know - and probably one you wouldn't have guessed - doesn't have health insurance. More than half of the uninsured are employed. More than a third have an annual household income above $50,000. And more than 1 million have college experience or post-secondary degrees. 



Prisons struggle with challenges posed by the surging numbers of older inmates

Washington Post

January 26, 2012


NEW YORK - In corrections systems nationwide, officials are grappling with decisions about geriatric units, hospices and medical parole as elderly inmates - with their high rates of illness and infirmity - make up an ever increasing share of the prison population. ... In Texas, legislators have been considering several options for addressing the needs of infirm, elderly inmates. State Rep. Jerry Madden, chairman of the House Corrections Committee, said no decisions have been made as the experts try to balance cost factors and public safety. 



New mental health program to more quickly treat inmates unfit for trial, will save Nueces County money

Corpus Christi Caller

January 27, 2012


CORPUS CHRISTI - Inmates found incompetent to stand trial soon will get quicker access to treatment, a move that will save Nueces County money. The local mental health center received $500,000 in state funding during the next two years to establish a program to provide legal education and mental health and substance abuse treatment for incompetent detainees. 



Sheriff wants expansion of house arrest program

Click 2 Houston

January 26, 2012


HOUSTON - Facing jail overcrowding and millions of taxpayer dollars spent to house inmates in other states, Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia launched a pilot program that offered the option of "house arrest" to certain criminals. ...According to the Sheriff's Office, it costs an average of $40 to $45 a day to house an inmate in the general population of the jail. The Sheriff's Office reports daily costs for inmates receiving medication for medical or mental health issues are between $65 and $70. The daily costs for seriously ill inmates range from $230 to $250. 



First Do No Harm

Dallas Morning News

January 27, 2012


...Parkland Memorial Hospital and UT Southwestern Medical Center oversee the residency program. A key question in the fraud investigation is whether faculty physicians properly supervised resident doctors. ...Micah Hughey filed a complaint with Parkland Memorial Hospital's police department alleging that two staff technicians assaulted him while in the psychiatric emergency department. When he returned home that weekend, his brother and sister photographed his black eye and forehead bruises using a cell phone and turned the pictures over to a Parkland detective. 





Volunteers check in with homeless to update D.C.'s count

Washington Post

January 26, 2012


... Across the country this week - the third week in January is typically the year's coldest - volunteers are tiptoeing through alleys and their cities' darkest corners to get a snapshot of the nation's homeless population. The search is a fundamental step for HUD. The department uses the data to determine how about $1.6 billion will be distributed to agencies working toward the national goal of eradicating homelessness for veterans, families and children by 2020. 



Nursing Home Investigation Finds Errors by Druggists

New York Times

January 27, 2012


... Pharmacists responsible for reviewing the medication of patients in California nursing homes routinely allowed inappropriate and potentially lethal prescriptions of antipsychotic medications, and failed to correct other potentially dangerous drug irregularities, according to recent state investigations. 



Virginia to transform system of caring for developmentally disabled

Washington Post

January 27, 2012


RICHMOND - Virginia will close all but one of its large institutions for the developmentally disabled and move thousands of people into their own homes, their family's homes or group homes as part of a 10-year, $2.1 billion settlement announced Thursday with the U.S. Justice Department. 



Vt. considers bill to allow marijuana for PTSD

Houston Chronicle

January 27, 2012


MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - A Vermont lawmaker wants to amend the state's medical marijuana law so that anyone suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder could use it to help alleviate their symptoms. 



L.A. Senior Advocates Stand Up to Budget Cuts

California Healthline

January 26, 2012


LOS ANGELES -- Earlier this month when Gov. Jerry Brown (D) announced cuts of $2.5 billion to health and human services programs, advocates for low-income, sick, elderly and disabled residents of Los Angeles County acknowledged that the first cuts are not always the deepest -- or most damaging. 



Have These Symptoms? Buy This Drug

New York Times

January 26, 2012


... Some symptom checklists are clearly branded, so patients and clinicians can easily discern the pharmaceutical interests involved. But many are less obvious or are used as part of advocacy groups' materials or awareness events. For example, National Depression Screening Day, held annually at college campuses, military sites and community centers across the country, uses a symptom checklist called the Patient Health Questionnaire, or PHQ-9. The nine questions are based on a well-known anxiety screening tool, but its copyright is held by Pfizer, maker of the antidepressant Zoloft. 





An Rx? Pay More to Family Doctors

Wall Street Journal

January 27, 2012


The nation's second-largest health insurer is shaking up its approach to paying doctors, putting a major investment behind the idea that spending more for better primary care can save money down the road. 



Report: Electronic health records still need work

El Paso Times

January 27, 2012


WASHINGTON-America may be a technology-driven nation, but the health care system's conversion from paper to computerized records needs lots of work to get the bugs out, according to experts who spent months studying the issue. 



State discusses ideas on new Medicaid design

Georgias Health News

January 26, 2012


The head of Georgia's Medicaid agency said Thursday that despite criticism of the program's current model of care, doctors and other medical providers agree with the idea of ''well-managed care'' for patients. The state currently operates a managed care system for most Medicaid and all PeachCare members. A report from consulting firm Navigant, released last Friday, called for Georgia to consider adopting an enhanced managed care system that would cover new segments of Medicaid patients. 



California single-payer health care bill stalls in state Senate

Sacramento Bee

January 26, 2012


California's "Medicare for all" universal health care legislation fell short of the 21 votes needed to pass the state Senate today. Senate Bill 810 failed on a 19-15 vote during this morning's floor session, with four moderate Democrats abstaining and one voting no. 



Plain-English health insurance summaries at risk

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

January 26, 2012


WASHINGTON -- One of the most popular provisions of President Barack Obama's healthcare overhaul -- consumer-friendly summaries of what your insurance plan covers -- suddenly seems to be at risk. 





Public trust demands Parkland come clean on consultants' report

Dallas Morning News

January 26, 2012


... Evaluators also wrote a separate report of systemwide failures, including nursing inconsistencies and physician and resident performance. By now, you might be dying to know exactly what evaluators found. So are we. So should everyone who might end up at Parkland. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins agrees, and, on this, his instinct is exactly right. The public pays to operate the hospital, paid for a detailed examination of what it's getting for its money and deserves a detailed accounting. If individual patient info must be redacted, get out the Sharpie. 



A change for better treatment: No reason to fear community care

Chicago Tribune

January 27, 2012


Gov. Pat Quinn announced plans last week to close two state mental health institutions and move their patients into community-based care. The governor is getting a ton of heat over this decision, from politicians, from parents of patients and from community leaders. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. said the state is "balancing its budget on the backs of our most vulnerable citizens." Quinn is making the right decision. He's making a sound decision in terms of public health and the state's financial health.,0,2184669.story 





Ethnic Disparities Persist in Depression Diagnosis and Treatment Among Older Americans

National Institute of Mental Health

January 26, 2012


Older racial and ethnic minorities living in the community are less likely to be diagnosed with depression than their white counterparts, but are also less likely to get treated, according to a recent NIMH-funded analysis published online ahead of print December 15, 2011, in the American Journal of Public Health. 



Medication helps some with mild depression

Chicago Tribune

January 26, 2012


NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - People with mild depression may benefit from taking antidepressants, suggests a new analysis of past studies that compared symptoms in people on the drugs to those given drug-free placebo pills.,0,2140441.story 



Working Long Hours Can Be Depressing, Truly


January 26, 2012


Working long hours may get you more than a paycheck. Putting in a lot of of overtime can make a person more vulnerable to depression. You might have guessed that. But now there are some hard numbers, thanks to a study that tracked the health of civil service workers in Great Britain. 





Learning Lunch Series -- The Life Course Perspective: The Multigenerational Experience that Affects Health Outcomes

Center for Elimination of Disproportionality and Disparities and Federal Office of Minority Health


Join us for an intensive session examining the multi-generational experiences that affect health outcomes for poor communities and communities of color. Special guest speaker Deena Hayes is a mental health clinician and core trainer with Racial Equity Institute, People's Institute for Survival and Beyond. Participants will understand the collective behaviors of People of Color as a multi-generational experience, that health inequities are rooted in historical inequities that have influenced institutional practices, and will be able to define and understand social determinants' impact on health outcomes. Wednesday, February 1, 2012, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Brown-Heatly Building, 1st floor

Public Hearing Room 1410, 4900 North Lamar, Austin. Bring a lunch, if you wish. Continuing education for multiple disciplines will be provided for this event.


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