Letter About Patient’s Fatal Overdose Lowers Opioid Prescribing

In January 2017, during the height of the opioid crisis, nearly 400 clinicians in California received “Dear Doctor” letters from the San Diego County Medical Examiner notifying them that a patient to whom they had prescribed an opioid or other controlled substance had died from an overdose. Dr. Jason Doctor The goal of the letter … Read more

NPs Can Offset Psychiatry Shortage, Tackle Mental Health Crisis

With many psychiatrists not accepting insurance, and fewer psychiatrists billing Medicare due to reimbursement cuts, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners (PMHNPs) are seen lately as part of the solution to the shortage of mental healthcare providers in the United States. In many states, these specialized nurse practitioners can prescribe medication, unlike psychologists and other therapists, … Read more

The Importance of the Need for Hope

After the 1995 bombing in Oklahoma City, the search and rescue response included specially trained cadaver dogs. Their job was to help detect and retrieve the missing. With each discovery, the dogs initial excitement quickly vanished, and the person was found to not have survived the incident. Hours turned into days of pulling human remains … Read more

Doctors Rush to Use Supreme Court Ruling to Escape Opioid Charges

Dr. Nelson Onaro conceded last summer that he’d written prescription illegals, although he said he was thinking only of his patients. From a tiny, brick clinic in Oklahoma, he doled out hundreds of opioid pills and dozens of fentanyl patches with no legitimate medical purpose. “Those medications were prescribed to help my patients, from my … Read more

Is Corporate Telepsychiatry the Solution to Access to Care Problems?

When Sue W’s mother died in 2018, she struggled terribly. She was already seeing a psychotherapist and was taking duloxetine, prescribed by her primary care physician. But her grief was profound, and her depression became paralyzing. She needed to see a psychiatrist, and there were many available in or near her hometown, a Connecticut suburb … Read more

Roe v. Wade Overturned, Ending 50 Years of Abortion Protections

The US Supreme Court has voted to overturn the federal constitutional right to abortion, which will now leave the issue to be decided on a state-by-state basis. According to some estimates, some 25 million women of reproductive age will now live in states that ban or severely restrict abortion. Twenty-six states are “certain or likely” … Read more

Specialties Differ on Value, Utilization of Telehealth: Study

Attitudes toward the use of telehealth differ markedly among mental health, primary care, and specialty care clinicians, according to a study published June 7 in JAMA Network Open. The study involved eight clinics of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) New England Healthcare System. Mental health professionals used telehealth — including phone and video visits … Read more

When Words Are Not Enough

Almost 1 year into the pandemic, the day finally came when I could welcome patients back to meet in person. For a little over a decade, I have cared for the mental health of healthcare professionals. After nearly a year of telehealth, one by one I welcomed nurses, physicians, physical therapists, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, social … Read more

NP-led Care Improves Quality of Life for Multiple Sclerosis Patients

The study covered in this summary was published in medRxiv.org as a preprint and has not yet been peer reviewed. Key Takeaways Depression improved with add-on nurse practitioner (NP)–led care in comparison with usual neurologist care at 3 and 6 months for patients with multiple sclerosis (MS): satisfaction with care was the same in both … Read more