Recent posts

How the restaurant industry is tackling its substance abuse problem

By drwong
June 16, 2019

The Los Angeles Times By Amy Scattergood Jun 06, 2019           On a recent Tuesday morning, about two dozen people gathered around a long table in the old brick building that houses the Jacobsen Salt Co. in Portland, Ore. All were somehow connected to the restaurant industry: chefs, line cooks, servers,...   read more

Health insurance deductibles soar, leaving Americans with unaffordable bills

By drwong
May 17, 2019

Los Angeles Times By Noam N. Levey May 02, 2019   Soaring deductibles and medical bills are pushing millions of American families to the breaking point, fueling an affordability crisis that is pulling in middle-class households with health insurance as well as the poor and uninsured. In the last 12 years, annual deductibles in job-based...   read more

What to Say (and Not to Say) to Someone Grieving a Suicide

By drwong
May 13, 2019

The New York Times By Gayle Brandeis May 8, 2019   Suicide can leave the survivors with anger, confusion and guilt, and even well-intentioned words can cause pain.           It can be hard to know what to say to a person in the thicket of grief; when someone is grieving a...   read more

APA Protests New Policy Against Transgender Military Service Members

By drwong
April 10, 2019

American Psychiatric Association Wed Apr 10, 2019   APA is protesting the implementation of a ban that goes into effect on Friday, April 12, on transgender individuals serving in the military. As of that day, the Department of Defense (DoD) is requiring transgender service members to follow the standards of their biological sex or be removed...   read more

Skimpy health plans touted by Trump bring back familiar woes for consumers

By drwong
April 5, 2019

Los Angeles Times By Noam N. Levey Apr 2, 2019               There used to be a lot of health insurance horror stories like Charley Butler’s. After the Montana truck driver was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2016, his insurer balked at paying tens of thousands of dollars in medical...   read more

Suicides highlight the toll of school shootings and the role of 'Complicated grief'

By drwong
March 31, 2019

Los Angeles Times By Melissa Healy Mar 27, 2019             After three suicides in 10 days involving people directly affected by school shootings, there’s renewed interest in a condition that psychologists call “complicated grief.” Long after a mass-casualty event, roughly 10% of people experience the enduring or chronic depression and...   read more

APA Criticizes Trump Administration's Latest Move to Overturn ACA

By drwong
March 28, 2019

American Psychiatric Association Wed Mar 27, 2019               The Trump Administration’s recent decision not to protect any part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in a federal case challenging the constitutionality of the ACA places the health care of millions of Americans at risk, say APA and five of...   read more

APA Opposes Trump Administration Plan Targeting Psychiatric Drugs in Medicare

By drwong
March 22, 2019

American Psychiatric Association Mar 7, 2019 by Linda M. Richmond   The proposal would erode the protections now granted to most psychiatric medications in Medicare Advantage and Part D drug plans, subjecting them to prior authorization, step therapy, and exclusion from formulary lists. APA strongly opposes a Trump administration prescription drug proposal aimed at patients...   read more

Mental Health Treatment Denied to Customers by Giant Insurer's Policies, Judge Rules

By drwong
March 10, 2019

The New York Times By Reed Abelson March 5, 2019           In a scathing decision released Tuesday, a federal judge in Northern California ruled that a unit of UnitedHealth Group, the giant health insurer, had created internal policies aimed at effectively discriminating against patients with mental health and substance abuse disorders...   read more

CBD is Everywhere, but Scientists Still Don't Know Much About It

By drwong
March 10, 2019

The New York Times By Roni Caryn Rabin Feb 25, 2019 “It is a kind of a new snake oil in the sense that there are a lot of claims and not so much evidence,” said one expert.             Cannabidiol, or CBD, a nonintoxicating component of the marijuana plant, is...   read more