Monthly Archives: January, 2013

Is Patient Health Taking a Hit Under High-Deductible Plans? | Featured Article –

When low income people end up skipping preventive care and maintenance care for ongoing conditions, their health suffers.

Is Patient Health Taking a Hit Under High-Deductible Plans? | Featured Article –

High Deductible Plans Accelerate – Kaiser Health News

I wonder whether out of pocket spending for mental health services has gone up or down with high-deductible health coverage. More research to come. But for now, a look at how “consumer-directed” health care is affecting overall consumer spending for health care:

“I’ve heard of nothing but acceleration” of employers into consumer-directed health insurance, said Roy Ramthun, a benefits consultant who was a senior health policy advisor in President George W. Bush’s administration. “More local units of government, school districts and even some union plans are starting to move more aggressively into these areas.”

via Who Knew? Patients’ Share Of Health Spending Is Shrinking – Kaiser Health News.

Kiersten Marek:

And in case you were wondering, spinach is the winner in the superfood faceoff with kale.

Originally posted on Feel good, live healthy:

Kale has been the trendy new health food in recent years, and with good reason. But don’t forget about the old standby super food, spinach.

Looking at this graphic we made from information provided by USNews, there seems to be a reason behind Popeye’s obsession with spinach instead of other green superfoods — namely perhaps more fiber, protein, calcium and potassium.

You can’t really go wrong with either one. It’s one reason we include both in some of our products, like Nature’s Harvest.


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High Deductible Health Plans Causing Less Use of Hospital and More Bad Debt from Patients

This article explains how 31 people are being laid off from a hospital in Keene, New Hampshire, due to a number of factors including less reimbursement from Medicare and Medicaid and problems stemming from high deductible health plans:

Hospital officials said in December recent trends toward high-deductible health insurance plans have apparently led to increases in outstanding bad debt, which includes unpaid patient bills, and also to reductions in the public’s use of some medical services. The number of patients, which at the hospital averages more than 30 filled beds at any one time, is down, and demand for outpatient services is also off.

Link to the Article.

High Deductible Health Plans Increase Dramatically

This article states that high deductible plans have skyrocketed from 8% in 2009 to 19% last year.  If they continue at this rate, about 50% of people will have high deductible plans by 2020.  Oh what a wonderful world it will be.

Preventive Care at Risk with High-Deductible Health Plans.

Take Action to Help Mental Health Providers Get Treated Justly

We in the social work field are known for advocating for just about everyone — the poor, the homeless, LBGT, Veterans, the elderly, people with physical disabilities, people with mental disabilities, the unemployed, the incarcerated, and so on. But when it comes to advocating for ourselves, we seem to have a harder time, and the many groups who we speak for are often not able to provide the same kind of “got your back” advocacy in return. For that reason, mental health providers are a category, politically, that is easily stomped on. Though we represent many, we represent the underrepresented, the less powerful, and the very busy people who must work two jobs for a living.

Here is a chance to help out your fellow mental health provider. Please consider signing the petition linked below to help advocate for mental health providers to be adequately compensated for their work.

Reimburse Clinicians Fare Wages Petition

High Deductible Insurance Plans Reduce Access to Preventative Care

This study by RAND is the largest survey yet to show the effects of high deductible insurance plans. The study notes that people were less likely to access preventative care when they have a high deductible. People are also less likely to access mental health care when they have a high deductible, particularly if they are middle class or poor.  More research to follow.

RAND Study on High Deductible Plans

What Keeps People from Mental Health Care?

The biggest barriers for people who need mental health care are the costs, according to the survey cited in the article below.  

It’s Easier to Get Guns than Mental Health Care

What One Therapist Found When She Entered Private Practice

This essay from the NYTimes is a bit of an eye-opener for anyone who is thinking of going into private practice.  Due to people seeking less therapy and using more psychiatric drugs alone (massive pharma marketing campaigns encourage this), we are now at a point where many therapists can’t get enough referrals to survive.  Meanwhile, many people in need of help can’t get it because they don’t have insurance, have high deductibles and copays, or have very little coverage for mental health with their insurance policy.

What Brand is Your Therapist?

What Would Real Mental Health Access Look Like?

In Connecticut today, the issue of mental health access, particularly for children and adolescents, is being discussed in the State House.  I hope the problem of high deductibles insurance plans will be brought up, as this is a major barrier to mental health care for the poor and middle class.

The day after a gun control hearing that lasted until nearly 3 a.m. state legislators will take up what may be an even tougher topic: addressing mental health problems in children and adolescents. –


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