As an ever increasing number of people seek help with alcohol and drug addiction, a payment loophole is preventing many of those patients from getting timely treatment. That’s in part because Medicaid does not reimburse private providers who treat their patients for addiction, unless they are also diagnosed with a mental illness.
But not every patient who abuses alcohol or drugs is mentally ill.
Two years ago, Vermont’s House Committee on Health Care became the first legislative panel in the country to approve a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages. The vote triggered a massive response from the beverage industry, which poured more than $600,000 into advertising and lobbying aimed at killing the measure.
“We really got outspent, big time,” says Tina Zuk, director of government relations for the American Heart Association. “I think we got outspent 80-to-1.”
Vermont ranks second in the country in child well being. That’s according to the most-recent Kids Count Data Book, which is published annually by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The state is among the top 10 in all four of the ranked categories – economic well-being, education, health, and family and community.
Voices for Vermont’s Children Research Associate Sarah Teel and Marianne Miller, Head Start and Early Head Start director for Capstone Community Action Council, discuss the report’s findings and look at areas of well-being that still have children’s advocates concerned.
What might start out as simple collecting or the inability to throw something out, can eventually lead to overloading a home or apartment with stacks of unwanted junk. And that can eventually result in isolation, unsafe conditions and even squalor.
The state Health Department is reporting an increase in whooping cough cases in Windham County.
The department has alerted health care providers in the area that the number of confirmed cases of whooping cough, also known as pertussis, rose to 11 in June. Ten were among children age 3 to 17, while one was an adult. The cases occurred as schools were closing or after they had closed for the summer.
So far in July, the department says there are five more suspected cases. All but one of the confirmed and suspected cases are from Brattleboro.
The Veterans Hospital in White River Junction is trying out new programs designed to relieve pain without strong medications. VA doctors are now prescribing acupuncture, yoga and aquatic therapy as alternatives.
Acupuncture has not yet been fully integrated into the hospital’s menu of treatment options, but for about six months now, Dr. Freda Dreher has been inserting sterile needles not much thicker than a human hair into a few people looking for pain relief.
Teen alcohol use has long been a concern for public health officials. But now researchers at University of Vermont have zeroed in on one aspect of teen drinking: how to predict which teens will become problem drinkers as they get older.
We talk with UVM psychiatry professor Hugh Garavan, who co-authored a new study published in the journal Nature, that shows how a variety of factors combine to predict binge drinking in 16 year olds with 70 percent accuracy.
In a few weeks bikers, walkers, rowers, golfers and hikers will flex their collective muscles for a good cause in the Upper Valley. The Prouty is a fundraiser for cancer research that generates money by asking donors to sponsor athletes.
Some of the most senior participants are currently training--on walkers.