Recent posts

American Psychiatric Association Expresses Concerns Over Parts of New Health Care Bill

By drwong
March 11, 2017

Two committees of the House of Representatives today began consideration of the American Health Care Act, the Republican mechanism to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The process will not in fact eliminate the ACA. The current action takes place under complex rules in the House and Senate limited to spending and revenue. This...   read more


Health Groups Denounce G.O.P Bills as Backers Scramble

By drwong
March 11, 2017

Abby Goodnaugh, Robert Pear and Thomas Kaplan New York Times March 8, 2017   WASHINGTON — Influential groups representing hospitals and nurses came out on Wednesday against a Republican bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, joining doctors and the retirees’ lobby to warn that it would lead to a rise in the...   read more


Is a Teen Depressed, or Just Moody?

By drwong
February 20, 2017

The Checkup By PERRI KLASS, M.D. New York Times FEB. 13, 2017 The hardest questions pediatricians must routinely ask teenagers at checkups are those about depression and suicide. But they aren’t optional; we have to ask them, every time. From 2005 to 2014, the prevalence of depression — that is, the chance of having a...   read more


LSD to Cure Depression? Not So Fast

By drwong
February 20, 2017

Richard A. Friedman New York Times FEB. 13, 2017   Psychedelics, the fabled enlightenment drugs of the ’60s, are making a comeback — this time as medical treatment. A recent study claimed that psilocybin, a mushroom-derived hallucinogenic, relieves anxiety and depression in people with life-threatening cancer. Anecdotal reports have said similar things about so-called microdoses...   read more


Addiction Treatment Grew Under Health Law. Now What?

By drwong
February 12, 2017

By KATHARINE Q. SEELYE and ABBY GOODNOUGH New York Times Feb. 10, 2017   MANCHESTER, N.H. — Chad Diaz began using heroin when he was 12. Now 36 and newly covered by Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, he is on Suboxone, a substitute opioid that eases withdrawal symptoms and cravings, and he is slowly...   read more


Pregnant Women Turn to Marijuana, Perhaps Harming Infants

By drwong
February 12, 2017

By CATHERINE SAINT LOUIS New York Times FEB. 2, 2017   During her pregnancy, she never drank alcohol or had a cigarette. But nearly every day, Stacey, then 24, smoked marijuana. With her fiancé’s blessing, she began taking a few puffs in her first trimester to quell morning sickness before going to work at a...   read more


How to fight back when an insurer denies your healthcare claim

By drwong
January 22, 2017

Experts say you shouldn't take no for an answer. Many denied insurance claims are reversed on appeal. (Getty Images) David Lazarus January 17, 2017 Los Angeles Times   Insurance companies are playing the odds, patient advocates say. They’re counting on people not having the stamina to challenge every denied claim, even when there’s a valid...   read more


Healthcare insurance hell: If at first your claim is denied, try, try again

By drwong
January 16, 2017

David Lazarus January 13, 2017 Los Angeles Times   One focus of the planned repeal of Obamacare is maintaining coverage for people with preexisting conditions. Republican lawmakers say the current law’s safeguards won’t change, but they have yet to explain how they’ll accomplish this without also keeping the mandate that everyone buy insurance. What isn’t...   read more


Experts have only a hazy idea of marijuana's myriad health effects, and federal laws are to blame

By drwong
January 16, 2017

Melissa Healy Jan. 12, 2017 Los Angeles Times   More than 22 million Americans use some form of marijuana each month, and it’s now approved for medicinal or recreational use in 28 states plus the District of Columbia. Nationwide, legal sales of the drug reached an estimated $7.1 billion last year. Yet for all its ubiquity, a comprehensive...   read more


Kitty Dukakis, a Beneficiary of Electroshock Therapy, Emerges as Its Evangelist

By drwong
January 1, 2017

By KATHARINE Q. SEELYE DEC. 31, 2016 New York Times BROOKLINE, Mass. — When Michael Dukakis lost the presidential election in 1988, his wife, Kitty, felt as if she had been squashed in a compactor, all the air forced out of her. Her even-keeled husband went back to work as governor of Massachusetts; she started...   read more