Non-opioid treatments for chronic pain, update for the generalists

Non-opioid treatments for chronic pain, update for the generalists

“Alternatives to Drugs for Treating Pain” was published by the New York Times on 9-11-17, and is written by the highly regarded health journalist Jane Brody. She reports on her own problems with chronic pain, and behavioral changes that she learned on her own which helped her significantly. She goes on to report on concerns about treatment with opioids and emerging research that is finding “complementary” treatments, many of them actually psychological treatments, to be helpful, sometimes even more effective than opioids.

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Adult ADHD diagnostic challenges: brief summary for the generalist, with link to more info

Adult ADHD diagnostic challenges: brief summary for the generalist, with link to more info

Mental health clinicians who are not ADHD specialists may find it challenging to assess and make treatment recommendations for adult patients with potential ADHD symptoms. “6 Challenges in Assessing ADHD in Adult Patients” provides a concise summary of the issues and a link to a more detailed resource.

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Melatonin: what therapists and consumers need to know

Melatonin: what therapists and consumers need to know

Insomnia is one of the most common health problems that mental health professionals hear about from their patients. In MHConcierge’s experience, many patients are taking, or considering, melatonin. Their PCP may have recommended it, or they may have just decided to try it on their own. “Read This If You Take Melatonin to Sleep at Night” was posted by HuffingtonPost.com recently, and this consumer-friendly article is a concise summary of the benefits of melatonin (limited) and potential concerns (several potential nuisance problems, and possibly significant drug interaction concerns).

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Study finds Hatha yoga to have more benefits than mindfulness meditation

Study finds Hatha yoga to have more benefits than mindfulness meditation

“Yoga, meditation improve brain function and energy levels, study shows” was posted by ScienceDaily.com on 9-6-17. This article reports on research comparing Hatha yoga, mindfulness meditation, and a control activity. Each activity was done for “just” 25 minutes, and the results found significant benefits from both the treatment interventions, with more benefit from the Hatha yoga.

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JAMA advice to PCPs about anxiety treatment, opportunity for collaboration

JAMA advice to PCPs about anxiety treatment, opportunity for collaboration

JAMA published “Treating Anxiety 2017: Optimizing Care to Improve Outcomes” on July 18, 2017. This article provided information to primary care physicians about how to manage anxiety in their office settings, and some of the information provided potentially supports coordination of care between PCPs and behavioral clinicians. A portion of the article is available for free online, but accessing the entire article requires either a subscription to JAMA or paying a user fee, and MHConcierge was glad to pay the fee in order to be able to report to loyal readers about the entire article.

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Paying your billing service by percentage of claims – is there risk?  (Maybe)

Paying your billing service by percentage of claims – is there risk? (Maybe)

The medicaidlaw-nc blog posted “Do You Pay Your Billing Agent a Percentage of Claims? You May Be in Violation of Federal law!” on 7-12-17.  Obviously, this is an attention-getting title, so let’s begin with a deep breath and some background about the source.  This blog is posted regularly by Nicole Emmanuel, a lawyer in North Carolina who specializes in Medicaid litigation.  She blogs regularly about Medicaid issues, with her intended audience being NC medical professionals but MHConcierge finds her posts to be informative about national issues and monitors her blog.

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Can Your Patient Secretly Record You?

Can Your Patient Secretly Record You?

JAMA Published “Can Patients Make Recordings of Medical Encounters?: What does the Law Say?” On 8-8-17. This article discusses the fact that recording technology is now readily available for every smartphone user. The authors note that the motivation for for recording may be entirely reasonable; the patient may simply want to be able to review the discussion in order to improve their understanding of the information provided, and possibly to share this information with family members. Researchers found that patients who are provided audio recordings of clinic visits tend to find them to be very helpful. But, what about patients who do these recordings without asking permission of the clinician, who may have or adversarial intent? And, who “owns” the recording? And, what is the status of such recordings in regard to HIPAA?

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Tips for Managing Potentially Dangerous Patients

Tips for Managing Potentially Dangerous Patients

Clinical Psychiatry News posted “Tips for avoiding potentially dangerous patients” on 8-10-17. This article discusses a presentation by Jeffrey Younggren, PhD and Ernest Bordini, PhD at the 2017 Annual Convention of the American psychological Association.  Dr. Younggren served as a risk management consultant for the APA Insurance Trust for 18 years. In his presentation, he critiqued an APA article on safety and offered his own recommendations, which, given his extensive experience are worth considering.

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