A report by Nevada-appointed consultants says that the state should enact several changes to curb a psychiatric hospital's practice of busing patients to California and other states. However, the report says that the busing of patients sometimes is appropriate. Sacramento Bee.
On Monday, the state Senate unanimously approved a bill, by Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg, that would let counties to use Proposition 63 money for Laura's Law, which allows courts to require treatment for residents with severe mental health conditions and a history of violence or hospitalization. Prop. 63 -- also known as the Mental Health Services Act -- raises $1 billion a year through a 1% tax on residents with incomes greater than $1 million annually. The bill now moves to the Assembly. AP/Sacramento Bee.
A new CDC report finds that as many as one in five individuals in the U.S. under age 18 experience a mental health disorder each year and that the rate of mental health disorders among children is climbing. The report marks the first comprehensive examination of the mental health of U.S. children. Washington Post et al.
Los Angeles is the only city pursuing a criminal investigation of patient discharge practices at Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital in Las Vegas. The hospital has been accused of busing patients with mental illnesses to several states, including California. Sacramento Bee.
Mental health providers in the Central Valley region still are in the planning stages of preparing for an influx of patients under the Affordable Care Act. Some providers say they are waiting on the federal government for more guidance on expanding services. HealthyCal.
On Thursday, UC-San Diego launched the Center for Brain Activity Mapping. The center is designed to be a focal point for the Obama administration's Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies Initiative, which could become a long-term, multibillion-dollar effort to develop tools for scientists to simultaneously see and study upward of one million brain cells. U-T San Diego.
A Sacramento Bee editorial states that Gov. Brown should give "serious consideration" to legislative proposals developed by Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg to improve care for California residents with mental illnesses. The editorial notes that although Steinberg's plan "will need to be squared with other spending priorities," the Senate leader's proposals represent "a thoughtful step toward dealing with one of the major health challenges of our time." Sacramento Bee.
Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital in Las Vegas has "systemic" problems that compromise the safety of discharged patients, according to a CMS investigation. The hospital has been accused of busing patients with mental illnesses to California and other states. Sacramento Bee.
A Sacramento Bee editorial argues that Brown's pledge to appeal a court-ordered reduction to the state's prison population to help improve inmates' medical care might "delay the reckoning" but is "unlikely to end federal oversight." It adds, "All this fighting is sidetracking everybody from the real task -- which should be finding common ground around durable remedies to reduce [the] prison population." Sacramento Bee.
California Senate Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg has released a proposal to improve mental health services in the state and reduce the number of patients with mental illnesses in California's prisons and emergency departments. Sacramento Bee's "Capitol Alert" et al.
A Contra Costa Times editorial states that 21 California lawmakers "are right" to request a federal investigation into Nevada's practice of busing patients with mental illnesses to California and other states. It notes that such a probe would help determine whether federal legislation is needed while also sending "a clear message" that patient busing is an "unacceptable practice." Contra Costa Times.
This week, the city attorneys of Los Angeles and San Francisco began collaborating on a probe into Nevada's practice of busing patients with mental illnesses to California and other states. On Thursday, surveyors with the Joint Commission made an unannounced visit to a Las Vegas psychiatric hospital that allegedly engaged in the practice. Sacramento Bee, Reuters.
On Tuesday, the Office of the U.S. Attorney for Northern California announced that the California Rural Indian Health Board will pay the federal government $532,000 to settle allegations that the organization submitted false claims for substance abuse recovery programs. CRIHB also will surrender $4.6 million in federal grants from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. AP/Sacramento Bee.
Gov. Brown has signed into law a measure that will allocate $24 million to boost efforts to disarm individuals prohibited from possessing guns because of serious mental illnesses or other factors. The funds will come from surplus fees paid by gun purchasers. Huffington Post et al.
An analysis finds that California spends more on anti-psychotic drugs for inmates than other states with large prison systems. Officials say that they do not overprescribe such drugs, while an expert says some drugs are used out of fear of violating federal orders. AP/Washington Post.