Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

The future of mental health?

Nature has an interesting article on how mobile technology is being used to treat mental illness. Estimates suggest that about 29% of people will experience a mental disorder in their lifetime1. Data from the World Health Organization (WHO) show that many of those people — up to 55% in developed countries and 85% in developing […]

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Antidepressant coverage in the Health Insurance Exchange plans

The most common drug class taken among patients aged 18-44 is an antidepressant. Furhter, these relatively young and healthy patients are likely to be the ones who enroll in healht plans within the health insurance exchanges.  The question is, how easily can patients access information about antidepressant coverage? According to a recent RWJ report, the […]

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Depression Among the Elderly & Medicare Part D

How did the enactment of Medicare Part D affect the mental health of the elderly? This is the question Ayyagari and Shane attempt to answer in their recent JHE paper. The authors use data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) between 2010 and 2010 to measure changes in depressive symptoms among patients aged 60-70. […]

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Will the Welfare State Cause the Next Great Depression?

According to Robert Samuelson’s article in the Wilson Quarterly, the answer is yes. Just as the gold standard amplified and transmitted the effects of the Depression, so the modern welfare state is magnifying the effects of the recession. The United States, Europe, and Japan, together representing about half of the world economy, face similar pressures: […]

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Are you depressed?

That is the question that that clinicians often have to ask.  Depression certainly operates along a scale and it is often difficult to quantify either i) if a person is depressed or ii) how depressed they are. One option to assess patient depression is the PHQ-9.  The assessment asks patients nine questions regarding their mental […]

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Foreclosures: Bad for your health

According to a recent study by Pollack and Lynch (2009), having your house foreclosed is bad for your health.  The Penn Gazette summarizes the paper’s findings as follows: “[the authors]  presented sobering findings culled from a survey of 250 Philadelphians who had sought credit counseling for home mortgage foreclosure.  More than one-third of the study […]

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