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

February, 2011



Health Care Advocates Offer Emotional Pleas

Texas Tribune

February 2, 2011


From patients and parents to nurses and practitioners, the many faces of Texans affected by potential health care budget cuts gathered at the Capitol today to give an earful to lawmakers on the Senate Finance Committee.



Texans voice concerns over budget cuts to panel

Houston Chronicle

February 2, 2011


AUSTIN -- Senate Finance Committee Chairman Steve Ogden on Wednesday suggested a new use for Gov. Rick Perry's business-deal-closing Enterprise Fund: supporting a San Antonio charity that finds jobs for homeless people. Ogden, R-Bryan, made the suggestion on the same day a parade of witnesses testified before his committee about the devastation to vulnerable Texans that would come from relying solely on budget cuts to meet a massive revenue shortfall.



Texas businesses serving frail warn cuts would close their doors

Dallas Morning News

February 2, 2011


AUSTIN - Business owner after business owner warned Wednesday that proposed cuts would shutter their operations serving Texas' disabled children and frail adults. The grim warnings came as the Senate Finance Committee opened two days of public comment on GOP leaders' two-year, $158.7 billion budget proposal. The spending blueprint would reduce payments to some social service providers by more than 30 percent.



Unfunded mandates taking toll on county

The Sealy News

February 3, 2011


In a day of financial uncertainty, the last thing that is needed is a withdrawal of financial support, coupled with a demand to spend more money. Yet, this is a reality being faced by Austin County officials, tax districts, school districts and every agency subordinate to state government.





UTMB prisoner health costs, raises scrutinized: Audit of University of Texas System hospital in Galveston critical of spending at time hospital was claiming massive deficit

Austin American-Statesman

February 2, 2011


Texas taxpayers are spending more on treating convicted criminals at a Galveston hospital than they are on law-abiding citizens in other parts of the state, a critical audit of spiraling prison health care costs reveals.



A court program worth saluting

Houston Chronicle

February 3, 2011


... The original goal was to help veterans whose charge could be linked to brain injury or mental illness developed as a result of their military service. And those veterans still get priority in being selected for the small program, which takes only 20 at a time. But prosecutor Shannon Davis, a JAG reservist and adjunct professor of criminal law at the JAG school, said the program also considers veterans who can't draw a clear line between their alleged crime and their military service.





Spending on behavioral health is a shrinking portion of overall health expenditures

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

February 3, 2011


Spending on psychiatric drugs grew by 5.6 percent from 2004 to 2005, down from the 27.3 percent growth from 1999 to 2000 according to a study published today in the February issue of Health Affairs.  The study conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration analyzed healthcare costs from 1986 to 2005 to determine patterns in expenditures for behavioral health services.



ONC announces launch of "Direct Project" pilots

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

February 2, 2011


The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) announced today that providers and public health agencies in Minnesota and Rhode Island began this month exchanging health information using specifications developed by the Direct Project, an 'open government' initiative that calls on cooperative efforts by organizations in the health care and information technology sectors.



Provider Shortage Leaves Parents Searching, Doctors Overwhelmed

WBUR Boston

February 3, 2011


BOSTON - More often than not what many parents hear when they're looking for a children's mental health care professional is a voice recording saying the doctor isn't in: "I will not be making calls back to new clients at this time due to the volume of calls I'm presently receiving." Accessing care is arguably the biggest problem in the children's mental health system.



California ranks near bottom in kids' health care

San Francisco Chronicle

February 2, 2011


California fares poorly when it comes to delivering health care to children, especially those from low- and middle-income families, according to a report released today. The study, by the Commonwealth Fund, ranked the state 44th in comparison with the other 49 states and the District of Columbia.


Link to Commonwealth Fund report:



Dealing with a doctor who's biased: advice from Harvard author

Boston Globe

February 2, 2011


Thinking of having elective knee surgery, an organ transplant, treatment for heart disease? You might want to consider transforming yourself into a white, middle-class, thin, straight male -- if you aren't one already -- to get the best care from your doctor. That's the message conveyed in the new book Seeing Patients written by Dr. Augustus White. He's a Harvard Medical School professor of medical education and a former orthopedic surgeon who served as the first African-American department chief at a Harvard teaching hospital.





Senate rejects GOP-led bid to repeal healthcare law
Los Angeles Times

February 2, 2011


Reporting from Washington - Senate Democrats on Wednesday turned aside a bid by Republicans to repeal the new healthcare law, in the first Senate test of the sweeping overhaul that President Obama signed in March. The 47-51 party-line vote on a procedural motion came two weeks after House Republicans pushed a repeal resolution through that chamber.,0,6567474.story



Health Law: No Big Deal Or Congressional Overreach?

National Public Radio

February 2, 2011


The U.S. Supreme Court in all likelihood will decide the constitutionality of the nation's 2010 health care law. But on Wednesday morning, the Senate Judiciary Committee got a preview of the arguments that justices will likely hear. Depending on which esteemed legal scholar was weighing in, the Affordable Care Act is either no big deal, constitutionally speaking, or an extraordinary congressional distortion of its powers.



With Health Care Reform, Income Swings May Mean Loss of Coverage

HealthDay News

February 3, 2011


Under the new Affordable Care Act, the health reform package signed into law by President Barack Obama last March, millions of Americans whose income fluctuates during the year may lose health insurance for periods of time as their eligibility for different programs changes. The authors of a new study appearing in the February issue of Health Affairs estimated that as many as 28 million U.S. adults might "churn" in and out of health insurance programs during the course of a year, sometimes losing coverage more than once.



House GOP Weighs Medicare Limits

The Wall Street Journal

February 3, 2011


House Republicans are debating whether to propose new limits on the growth of Medicare and other entitlement programs, weighing a gamble that voters are more concerned about trimming the federal deficit than holding on to promised benefits. Some Republicans are warning that the party faces a backlash if it fails to produce a budget that limits entitlement growth, given the anger at federal debt that drove the party's mid-term election gains.



24 consumer groups object to medical liability bill

Austin American-Statesman

February 2, 2011


Twenty-four consumer groups, including Texas Watch, sent a letter to U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio, objecting to proposed legislation that would cap malpractice awards and make it tougher for patients and families to sue doctors. ... The Texas Medical Association, which represents the state's doctors, endorses the legislation as long as it does not pre-empt liability laws in Texas and other states.



Insurers, Consumer Groups Tussle Over Appeals Rule

Kaiser Health News

February 2, 2011


The health insurance industry and consumer groups are facing off over a much touted provision in the new federal health law that allows patients to seek independent reviews of denials in coverage.





Babies and grandmas: Who will Texas' Medicaid cuts hurt? All of us - but the oldest and youngest most of all

Houston Chronicle

February 3, 2011


... The proposal to cut reimbursements paid to Medicaid providers by 10 percent is pure pound-foolishness. And its horrifying long-term costs will hit us all. For most of us, Medicaid seems far from our everyday lives; we think of it as a program that covers people who've been poor, or will be poor, all their lives. But actually, Medicaid generally winds up helping people who spend most of their days in the middle class.



Health care's federal future, brought to you by the GOP

The Washington Post

February 3, 2011


Who would have thought then - or later, when President Barack Obama's big health reform was overturned by the Supreme Court in a controversial 5 to 4 ruling in 2012 - that today's bipartisan bill would be the result? For some perspective on the twists and turns of history, we're joined by NBC's David Gregory. David, health reform seemed dead in the water in 2012. How did we get from that Supreme Court ruling to today?



Pennies and seed corn: Spending cuts that may cost more than they save

Midland Reporter-Telegram

February 2, 2011


...My firm has studied the economics of both Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) as well as mental health and substance abuse services on several occasions. The findings from these analyses have consistently shown that adequate funding can yield savings which are multiples of the state's investment.



MHMR: CEO contract just part of problem

El Paso Times

February 3, 2011


Controversy surrounding the contract of Mental Health Mental Retardation CEO Gary Larcenaire wasn't made much clearer by a letter of clarification issued by the MHMR board.  ...At any rate, we hope that the clarification letter puts the controversy to rest -- although other generous perks in the contract have raised some eyebrows. That's because MHMR is having severe financial problems.



Football: A Mind Game

National Alliance on Mental Illness

February 2, 2011


...Depression can, of course, arise for reasons unrelated to the incidence of a concussion-as it did for Terry Bradshaw. This former Steelers great and Hall of Famer is one of the most identifiable players living with depression.   ... Consequently, he has become a mental health advocate, urging people to not shy away from receiving help.





Childhood adversity linked to mood disorder chronicity

Med Wire News

February 3, 2011


Exposure to family problems in childhood is associated with an increased risk for mood disorder chronicity in adulthood, study results show.



Early treatment reduces risk for second psychotic episode

Med Wire News

February 3, 2011


Early treatment is associated with a significantly reduced risk for further psychotic episodes in first-episode psychosis (FEP) patients, research shows.



Physiological Impacts of Homophobia

Science Daily News

February 3, 2011


Young adults who are lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB) are at far higher risk for severe mental health problems than their heterosexual peers. New research from Concordia University suggests that the stress of being rejected or victimized because of sexual orientation may disrupt hormonal responses in lesbians, gays and bisexuals.



Schizophrenia Gene Mutation ID'd, May Herald New Meds

Medical News Today

February 3, 2011


n a major advance for schizophrenia research, an international team of scientists, led by Jonathan Sebat, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry and cellular and molecular medicine at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, has identified a gene mutation strongly linked to the brain disorder - and a signaling pathway that may be treatable with existing compounds.



Therapy Better Than Drugs for Treatment of Eating Disorders

Internal Medicine News

February 2, 2011


LOS ANGELES - There is very little evidence - and in some cases none at all - to support common pharmacologic treatments for anorexia and bulimia nervosa, according to Michael Strober, Ph.D.  ...For anorexia nervosa, evidence is stronger for family-based therapy in which families are taught to help a child eat and maintain weight. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is more effective than drugs for bulimia nervosa and remains its treatment of choice, said Dr. Strober, who estimated he's treated more than 8,000 eating disorder patients during a career dating back to 1975.





Phantoms of the Mind, No Longer Shocking But No Less Haunting

The New York Times

February 1, 2011


Judith Guest's 1976 novel, "Ordinary People," and the 1980 film adaptation starring Timothy Hutton, were groundbreaking because they underscored Ms. Guest's title. Mental illness could occur in the most ordinary families, these works suggested. It could happen to anyone. The appeal of the Irish journalist Patrick Cockburn's distressing new memoir, written with his son Henry, is quite the opposite, because the large Cockburn family is completely extraordinary. "Henry's Demons" is about how Henry Cockburn, in 2002, at the age of 20, received a diagnosis of schizophrenia.



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