Hogg Foundation for Mental Health
Hogg Foundation

July, 2012



Texas and the Healthcare Ruling

Hogg Blog

July 2, 2012


You've probably heard by now that the 2010 healthcare law was largely upheld by the Supreme Court on Thursday. ...Just because the Court approved the law does not mean the work is done. Last week's ruling limits the ACA's proposed expansion of Medicaid. Texas can now choose whether or not to expand Medicaid coverage to millions more low-income individuals.






Agency charged with investigating state hospital complaints says 'no thanks' to 36 percent of them

Austin American-Statesman

July 1, 2012


When public psychiatric hospital patients say they've been abused, neglected or exploited, they turn to the Department of Family and Protective Services for help. But the agency charged with protecting some of the state's most vulnerable patients routinely declines to investigate complaints that come from the 10 publicly funded hospitals that house people with serious mental illnesses. 




For Uninsured in Texas, Supreme Court Ruling Adds to Uncertainty

The New York Times

June 29, 2012


... Though those without health coverage perhaps had the most at stake, the ruling was one more element of uncertainty in uncertain lives, drowned out by more pressing medical needs and financial pressures.




Voices of the Struggling in Texas

The New York Times

June 29, 2012


... A day after the Supreme Court upheld President Obama's health care overhaul, questions remained about what the law would mean for the uninsured of Texas, where the state is fighting a portion of the law, the expansion of Medicaid. Still, three uninsured Texans expressed cautious hope that the law would bring them much-needed help.




Need for doctors expected to become more acute in Texas

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

July 1, 2012


FORT WORTH -- The Supreme Court's decision upholding the Affordable Care Act could give millions of uninsured Texans access to healthcare. But that access will mean little if too few people are available to deliver care. ... Texas has struggled in the past decade to increase working primary-care doctors and nurses, but it has met roadblocks. One is that too few residency slots are available for first-year medical school graduates, Massingill said.




Housing first, treatment later: Dallas homeless agencies experiment with new approach

The Dallas Morning News

June 30, 2012


... Advocates argue that housing is a basic human right - not a reward for getting sober. ... At The Bridge, the city's downtown homeless assistance center, social workers continue to use a recovery-based approach. ...The homeless are given support to deal with mental illness, addictions and legal issues before they are eligible for housing. And once they do get permanent housing, data show a 90 percent rate of success.




County taxpayers stand to lose if Texas rejects Medicaid expansion

The Dallas Morning News

June 30, 2012


... Unlike many states, Texas does not directly subsidize the cost of caring for the uninsured. Instead, taxpayers in Dallas County and elsewhere help pick up that tab through property taxes that support safety-net hospitals such as Parkland Memorial Hospital. Last year, Parkland reported that its own cost for delivering uncompensated care was $335 million. Dallas County taxpayers funded $425 million, or 35 percent, of the hospital's operating budget.




Mentally ill man who stole beer shot in Houston

San Antonio Express-News

July 2, 2012


Members of a Houston family are outraged over the fatal shooting of a man they way was mentally ill who stole some beer, KHOU-TV is reporting. ... The family members told the station that Rector was off his medication and had escaped from a care facility just days before he was killed.




IRS-swindling, airport threat-making former Mr. Natural Olympia Phillip Busch gets 33 months in prison

The Dallas Morning News

June 29, 2012


... Sources familiar with the case say Fitzwater handed down a by-the-federal-sentencing-guidelines sentence - and did in fact take into account Busch's mental health when sentencing him this afternoon.






The Medication Generation

The Wall Street Journal

June 29, 2012


... The National Center for Health Statistics says that 5% of American 12- to 19-year-olds use antidepressants, and another 6% of the same age group use medication for ADHD-in total, about four million teenagers. Around 6% of adults aged 18 to 39 use an antidepressant. Usage often becomes long term. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 62% of Americans aged 12 and over who take antidepressants have done so for two years or longer; 14% have taken them for 10 years or longer. Not all are well supervised.




GlaxoSmithKline to pay $3 billion for health fraud

El Paso Times

July 2, 2012


WASHINGTON (AP) - The Justice Department says GlaxoSmithKline will pay $3 billion and plead guilty to promoting two popular drugs for unapproved uses and to failing to report important safety data about a diabetes drug to the Food and Drug Administration. ... The company also promoted Wellbutrin for uses besides major depressive disorder, its only approved use.




Release, in error, from mental hospital has grave outcome

Los Angeles Times

June 30, 2012


... because of what prison officials are calling a clerical glitch, Edwards was discharged from parole. With no more legal right to hold him, Atascadero let him walk out of the high-security mental hospital in January, with little more than a bag of medication. Eventually the stocky 43-year-old made his way to Santa Cruz, where prosecutors contend he brutally stabbed a popular shop owner to death on a busy sidewalk.






Obama administration and states move forward to implement health care law

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

June 29, 2012


Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced today a new funding opportunity to help states continue their work to implement the health care law -- the Affordable Care Act. When the law is fully implemented in 2014, the affordable insurance exchanges will provide people and small businesses with one-stop shops to find, compare and purchase affordable, high-quality health insurance.




Health Law Deadlines Under Pressure

Kaiser Health News

June 30, 2012


With Thursday's Supreme Court ruling upholding the health law, debate has shifted to whether deadlines key to the law's goal of expanding coverage to tens of millions of Americans will be pushed back.




Reluctance in Some States Over Medicaid Expansion

The New York Times

June 29, 2012


WASHINGTON - Millions of poor people could still be left without medical insurance under the national health care law if states take an option granted by the Supreme Court and decide not to expand their Medicaid programs, state officials and health policy experts said Friday.




Provisions that Help Children and Families

Children's Mental Health Network

June 29, 2012


... Certain key provisions within the law are designed to help children and families by providing free preventive services, extending coverage for young adults, and prohibiting the denial of coverage of children under the age of 19 with pre-existing conditions. To learn about these and other provisions that help children and families use the links below.




Supreme Court Decision Benefits People With Mental Illness

Huffington Post

June 29, 2012


... But even if some states choose not to provide Medicaid for more people who cannot afford health care or health insurance, millions of people without coverage or with inadequate coverage -- including people with mental illness -- will now be able to get the health and mental health care they need. The ACA benefits people with mental illness in six major ways:




New law could shift employee health benefits to private market

Los Angeles Times

June 30, 2012


The Supreme Court's endorsement of the federal healthcare law this week could spur more employers across the nation to relinquish their long-standing role as chief healthcare buyer for their workers. ... One of the more popular ideas being discussed is to give workers a lump sum, or defined contribution, and then let them use that money to buy their own individual health plan.




Doctors Applaud Ruling But Keep Champagne On Ice


June 29, 2012


... Hospital administrators and insurance underwriters aren't facing a fresh tangle of new regulatory possibilities, which would have happened if the court had struck down much or all of the law. But more than two years after its enactment, the law itself still leaves people professionally affected asking plenty of questions.




Washington's winners and losers from the Supreme Court's health-care ruling

The Washington Post

July 1, 2012


... Less clear is what happens to provisions that would have expanded Medicaid to include everyone below 133 percent of the federal poverty line. Although the law provides states with financial incentives to expand Medicaid, states can opt out, and the court ruled that the government cannot withhold federal Medicaid funding as punishment, as originally envisioned in the law.






It's Time to Set Up Exchanges

The New York Times

June 29, 2012


Now that the health care reform law has been ruled constitutional, it is imperative that as many states as possible move aggressively to establish a centerpiece of the reform structure: new insurance policy exchanges for people who lack affordable coverage through an employer. Federal subsidies will be available for those with low or moderate incomes.




With health care ruling made, it's time to wait and see

The Dallas Morning News

June 29, 2012


... Going forward, let's try to pay less attention to the political blather and focus more on what health care professionals are saying about the new law, about what's working and what isn't. A perfect health care plan is not going to fall from the sky. By trial and error, maybe we can make this one good enough. Let's wait and see.




End the disparity of mental care coverage

Detroit Free Press

July 1, 2012


... The federal government has failed, 3 1/2 years after the law was enacted, to approve final administrative rules, leaving insurance companies and policyholders uncertain about benefits and costs. Nationwide, advocates say, many families are eligible for broader insurance coverage under the federal law but still aren't receiving benefits. ... Insurance parity would help mentally ill people get treated and help families avoid financial calamity.




Supreme Court decision ensures your health insurance premiums will go up

Houston Chronicle

July 2, 2012


... Those moves, though, are far less costly than the next batch, which include the coverage for those who currently don't have insurance or can't get it because of pre-existing conditions. That one measure alone will inevitably increase premiums for most people who already have insurance.




Help to end death penalty; pay for inmate fans

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

June 30, 3012


... Through those years, it has been easy to see that the death penalty as administered in this country, especially in Texas, remains arbitrary and capricious. ... In recent years, the Supreme Court has ruled that the state cannot execute people who are mentally ill or those who were juveniles at the time of their crimes -- the decisions coming too late for several in those categories who had been put to death.




Home-Care Workers Aren't Just 'Companions'

The New York Times

July 1, 2012


... Mr. Obama proposed revising a Labor Department rule so that it would give home attendants and aides the protections, like overtime pay, that most American workers take for granted. The department opened an extended comment period and received some 26,000 statements, two-thirds of them positive. It is now deliberating on a final rule.






Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Effective in Combatting Anxiety Disorders, Study Suggests


June 28, 2012


Whether it is a phobia like a fear of flying, public speaking or spiders, or a diagnosis such as obsessive compulsive disorder, new research finds patients suffering from anxiety disorders showed the most improvement when treated with cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) in conjunction with a "transdiagnostic" approach -- a model that allows therapists to apply one set of principles across anxiety disorders.




Hitting, slapping tied to later mental disorders


July 2, 2012


People who remember being pushed, slapped and hit as children are more likely to be diagnosed with depression, anxiety and personality disorders later in life, a new study suggests.






Solomon: Rockets pick White meets anxiety disorder head-on

Houston Chronicle

July 2, 2012


... The draft process - traveling to demanding workouts, probing interviews and prodding physicals - is a difficult one for someone with White's condition. White speaks with an honesty and intelligence that make him likable. He doesn't run from his anxiety, nor does he hide behind it. It says something that he is so open, considering that talking out about it isn't therapeutic.




Baby Boomers at highest risk for suicide

Houston Business Chronicle

June 29, 2012


... The high stress that comes with sociocultural events such as the economy and terrorist attacks are having the biggest impact on Baby Boomers, who are dealing with higher rates of depression than other age groups, said Dr. Tom Ellis, director of psychology for The Menninger Clinic in Houston.




No Shame Day: Working to Eradicate Mental Illness Stigma in the Black Community

Huffington Post

June 28, 2012


... Our need for the first annual observation of No Shame Day on Monday, July 2 could be traced to any number of get-right-quick antidotes. Despite the growing number of mental illness diagnoses in the black community, many are loath to accept their legitimacy. According to the National Institute of Mental Health and the American Psychiatric Association, just one in three African-Americans who need mental health care receives it, and those who do are likelier to stop treatment early or receive follow-up care.




Search for a mom who's homeless brings only partial success

Austin American-Statesman

June 30, 2012


It's easy to make judgments about homeless people. No one wants them, we might think. No one loves them. No one cares. But every one of those people has a family somewhere, said Richard Troxell, founder of the advocacy group House the Homeless. They may not talk to them. They may never want to. Relationships - especially those muddled by drug, alcohol or mental health problems - are complicated.




You can fight the blues, up to a point

San Antonio Express-News

June 29, 2012


... Chronic, relentless depression - whether severe or mild - calls for extra steps to ease the lousy feelings. So if for two weeks or more you have trouble concentrating and your zest for life's gone missing, have trouble sleeping or sleep too much, lose or gain weight, don't try to manage your moods on your own. Talk to a doctor about getting therapy and medical treatment. Clinical depression is a physical ailment, not a matter of attitude. As with any illness, the smart move is to get the best care possible.






Snyder's-Lance Foundation Awards More Than $1.5 Million to Charlotte, NC Nonprofits

Philanthropy News Digest

July 1, 2012


Snyder's-Lance in Charlotte, North Carolina, has announced that the Lance Foundation will award one-time grants totaling more than $1.5 million to thirteen Charlotte-area nonprofits working in support of education, healthy living, fighting hunger, and assisting military causes.