New CA law takes aim at long wait times for mental health care : Shots

When Greta Christina heard that Kaiser Permanente mental health clinicians were staging a protest on Oct. 13, 2019, over long wait times for therapy, she made her own sign and showed up to support them. She’s had to wait up to six weeks between therapy appointments for her depression.

Ingrid Nelson


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Ingrid Nelson


When Greta Christina heard that Kaiser Permanente mental health clinicians were staging a protest on Oct. 13, 2019, over long wait times for therapy, she made her own sign and showed up to support them. She’s had to wait up to six weeks between therapy appointments for her depression.

Ingrid Nelson

When Greta Christina fell into a deep depression five years ago, she called up her therapist in San Francisco — someone she’d had a great connection with when she needed therapy in the past. And she was delighted to find out that he was now “in network” with her insurance company, meaning she wouldn’t have to pay out of pocket anymore to see him.

But her excitement was short-lived. Over time, Christina’s appointments with the therapist went from every two weeks, to every four weeks, to every five or six.

“To tell somebody with serious, chronic, disabling depression that they can only see their therapist every five or six weeks is like telling somebody with a broken leg that they can only see their physical therapist every five or six weeks,” she says. “It’s not enough. It’s not even close to enough.”

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Then, this summer, Christina was diagnosed with breast cancer. Everything related to her cancer care — her mammogram, biopsy, surgery appointments — happened promptly, like a “well-oiled machine,” she says, while her depression care stumbled along.

“It is a hot mess,” she says. “I need to be in therapy — I have cancer! And still nothing has changed.”

A new law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom in October aims to fix this problem for Californians. Senate Bill 221, which passed the state Legislature with a nearly unanimous vote, requires health insurers across the state to reduce wait times for mental health care to no more than 10 business days. Six other states have similar laws limiting wait times, including Colorado, Maryland, and Texas.

Unequal access to behavioral health care is pervasive

Long waits for mental health treatment are a nationwide problem, with reports of patients waiting an average of

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What is the long run of wearable technological know-how in health care?

If you had been all-around all through the time of clip-on pedometers, you know we’ve appear a extensive way in the growth of wearable health and health equipment.

But how can wearable technologies be applied to healthcare? And how is research building wearable technologies more available?

Dr. Bijan Najafi, professor of surgical treatment and director of clinical study in the Division of Vascular Surgical procedures and Endovascular Treatment in the Michael E. DeBakey Section of Operation at Baylor University of Medicine, shares his ideas on the wearable technology landscape, exploration and a lot more in the next Q&A.

Q: How can wearable units enhance wellbeing?
A: The past 5 a long time have viewed an improve in electronic wellness wearables that can collect details in authentic time and expose the actual physical and chemical qualities of the overall body to assess wellness. Wearables are compact electronic products that, when positioned on your human body, can support evaluate temperature, blood stress, blood oxygen, respiration fee, sound, GPS area, elevation, physical movement, alterations in direction, and the electrical action of the coronary heart, muscle mass, brain, and skin.

This wealthy data can support observe calorie expenditure, workout, stress, nutritious posture, weak rest excellent, cognitive decline, and even early warning symptoms of infection and irritation. We simply cannot handle what we cannot evaluate. Wearables can empower us to consistently measure our wellbeing and wellbeing without the need of the need for visiting a clinical heart and immediately consider an action when needed.

Wearables could also warn us about modifiable possibility factors that might influence our well being and wellbeing. For illustration, in a modern research, we utilized wearables to monitor stress and slumber top quality of office workers and located that expending prolonged durations in dry, indoor air may raise your stress degree in the course of operate several hours, which in flip could lead to inadequate slumber quality and reduced physical fitness.

Q: How does wearable engineering analysis translate to scientific care?
A: Serious health ailments are fiscally and emotionally costly. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of health care companies are re-engineering their pathways to advertise “care in position.”  Digital wellness wearables can help in clever triaging of patients for timely referral to outpatient or inpatient configurations for preventive treatment or well timed intervention right before the disorder gets tricky to handle. Wearables can also empower people

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