Mental health services should be incorporated into disaster response, a new study by UT Southwestern Medical Center psychiatrists finds. Researchers sifted through more than 1,000 articles, revealing that disasters can exacerbate existing mental problems and generate new ones. “Adverse mental health outcomes may not be as apparent as are physical injuries such as broken bones, bleeding, and other obvious trauma,” said Dr. Carol North, professor of psychiatry at UT Southwestern, and author of the study. “But our review clearly shows that mental injuries are prevalent and require a similar system for identifying, triaging and treating these individuals, just as you would… Full Story
Happiness, optimism, and laughter are all linked, not surprisingly, to longer lives. However, not all happiness is created equal. A recently published study shows a certain type of happiness related to service and purpose is more pertinent to health and longevity than the happiness related to personal gain. University of North Carolina psychologist Barbara Fredrickson examined the two types of happiness, “eudaimonic” and “hedonic” pleasures, repectively, and found eudiamonic to be far more beneficial to a person’s health and well-being than hedonic. The study, published in the National Academy of Sciences, quizzed 84 volunteers on their happiness levels, using different… Full Story
Three people and nine companies have been recognized in this week’s Accolades.
A North Carolina mobile application company ranked four Dallas-Fort Worth hospitals among its top 12 in its Texas Patient Engagement Index.
Texas Health Resources has opened Texas Health Springwood Center Uptown Dallas with a menu of behavioral services geared toward residents of the district. Operated by Texas Health Springwood Hospital Hurst-Euless-Bedford, the center offers counseling services that include complimentary private consultations, as well as programs specializing in specific populations such as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender; young adults age 18-25; adults; adolescents; and working professionals. The center also offers services for depression, addictions, anxiety, chronic pain, bullying, bipolar conditions, workplace and academic stress, and family conflict. The facility has 10 counselors, including psychologists and social workers. The center provides referrals to… Full Story
Private contractors tasked with finding fraud and abuse in Medicare community mental health centers have been ineffective in Texas and other states prone to such activity, according to an audit by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The OIG urged additional resources to attack fraud in states such as Texas, and more rigorous efforts to collect fraudulent payments once they have been identified. The OIG previously had found that about half of community mental health centers showed questionable billing in 2010, most of which were in Texas, Florida and Louisiana.
Healthcare costs are the single most important factor to gain control of for our country to remain solvent in the future. There are many opinions about how this should be done and on which part of the healthcare dollar we should focus. These include reining in hospital costs, managing chronic disease, focusing on disease prevention, limiting fraud and reducing administrative waste and unnecessary testing, to name a few. All of these solutions are tangible items that can be measured, tracked and analyzed with data we have today. However, I would subscribe to you that those with mental health diseases pose… Full Story
Arlington psychiatrist Ken Hopper is on a mission. He wants to reinvent how psychiatric services are delivered, and he wants to carve out a prominent role for mental-health providers in healthcare delivery reform models. Of the 10 largest physician specialties, psychiatry represents the most severe provider shortage in Texas. There are fewer than seven psychiatrists for every 100,000 Texas residents. That rate is less than 60 percent of the national average. About one out of four U.S. adults suffers from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. About half of those… Full Story
Women with anorexia nervosa perceive themselves differently than those without, according to a recent study on brain pathways by researchers at the Center for BrainHealth at UT Dallas and UT Southwestern, published in Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. Participants in the study were asked to evaluate three types of assessments: those based on oneself, one’s friend, and “reflected” (what one’s friend believes about the individual). Anorexia patients showed different brain activation than their counterparts, according to the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) results. Dan Krawczyk of the Center for BrainHealth at UT Dallas and UT Southwestern conducted the study along… Full Story
Sodium intake in children and teens has reached an alarmingly high rate, according to the American Heart Association. A new study, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and published in the journal Pediatrics, found that kids between 8 and 18 consumed an average of 3,387 milligrams of sodium a day, which is the same amount consumed by adults and over double the 1,500 milligrams recommended by the AHA. For overweight and obese kids, this means a 74 percent increased risk of high blood pressure for every 1,000 milligrams of increased sodium a day. The increase is only… Full Story
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. and the American Heart Association have teamed up to perform pioneering research to help establish a healthier workforce in America. The joint-study looks to examine the overall impact of wellness programs on employees’ health, and the effectiveness of the tools and incentives used at these KKR portfolio companies. Currently, employers are responsible for designing and paying for the vast majority of health care for those under 65 years. An estimated 25 to 30 percent of companies’ annual medical costs are spent on employees with major risk factors for chronic diseases (such as heart disease,… Full Story