The Obama administration is moving forward with a gun control package that includes mental health provisions. Medical groups have criticized one provision aimed at facilitating the flow of mental health records to a gun background check database. New York Times, Wall Street Journal.
On Tuesday, Sacramento civil rights attorney Mark Merin and American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada jointly filed a class-action lawsuit alleging that Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital in Las Vegas and the state of Nevada violated the constitutional rights of patients with mental illnesses by discharging them via Greyhound bus to California and other cities nationwide. Since July 2008, Rawson-Neal has sent more than 1,500 patients to other states, a third of them to California. Merin said as many as 100 former patients could join the suit. Sacramento Bee.
California Democrats and Gov. Brown have reached an agreement on a fiscal year 2013-2014 budget plan. The agreement would use Brown's economic forecast from his revised budget plan and boost spending for certain health programs. Sacramento Bee et al.
Nevada officials say that Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital will retain its accreditation following a routine Joint Commission survey. The facility has been criticized for busing patients with mental illnesses to California and other states. Las Vegas Review-Journal, Sacramento Bee.
During a White House conference, President Obama called for a national effort to better diagnose and treat mental illnesses. The event -- which came in response to mass-casualty shootings -- aimed to reduce stigma associated with mental illnesses. Politico's "Politico 44" et al.
As congressional efforts to advance mental health legislation stall, states are moving forward to pass their own mental health measures. Karmen Hanson -- program manager at the National Conference of State Legislatures -- said nearly every state is considering mental health initiatives, while about 24 states already have introduced bills this year. California lawmakers are considering whether to increase access and funding for mental health services. Politico.
A new report by UC-Davis finds that many Iraqi refugees in the Sacramento area struggle to obtain mental health services. Experts say such refugees often are reluctant to discuss their conditions and sometimes find it difficult to navigate the U.S. health system. Sacramento Bee, UC-Davis report.
The state Assembly and Senate have passed several health-related bills, including a measure that would prevent a 10% Medi-Cal payment reduction to skilled nursing facilities and legislation to expand access to interpreters through Medi-Cal. AP/U-T San Diego et al.
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.