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What’s Past is Prologue

| Apr 19, 2017 | Hawaii

BH, Workforce, and a Better Health Care System for Hawaii

| Apr 12, 2017 | Hawaii

Behavioral health workforce was the topic for a meeting sponsored by the Department  of Labor & Industrial Relations and AHEC on April 5.  The seventy attendees, who represented providers, educational institutions, insurers, and state agencies, have been grappling with these issues individually and collectively for some time, and were able...[ Read More ]

Health bills legislators will be talking about after second decking

| Apr 10, 2017 | Hawaii

After the second decking on April 7, here's which health bills are still alive this legislative session. Health Insurance: SB502 extends commercial insurance benefits to cover in vitro fertilization for surrogates. Viewed as a civil rights/equality issue, coverage would be a first in the nation. SB387 requires insurers to demonstrate...[ Read More ]

Hawaii Contingency Plans for ACA Repeal

| Mar 29, 2017 | Hawaii

Congress passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on March 21, 2010.  The very next day Republicans introduced legislation to repeal it, and when they took over as the House majority, they voted to repeal Obamacare more than 50 times.  However, the House couldn’t muster a repeal vote on...[ Read More ]

Funding wish list includes the other things that make us healthy

| Mar 23, 2017 | Hawaii

There’s an increasing awareness that clinical care is a relatively minor contributor to a person’s health status. Studies show that poor health is more commonly related to poverty, poor education, environmental factors, and chronic discrimination and stress.  Countries that invest more in social services and education have healthier populations and...[ Read More ]

Medicaid and oral health overlooked in House budget

| Mar 23, 2017 | Hawaii

While working on two State Health Innovation Plans in Hawaii, I heard over and over from providers about the problems that arise due to poor access to behavioral and oral health care. Mental health and substance abuse services are currently considered essential services and coverage parity is required, if not...[ Read More ]

Legislature considers prescriptive authority for psychologists, again

| Mar 16, 2017 | Hawaii

On March 16th, the House Committee on Health considers SB384, which would provide prescriptive authority for psychologists.  This is a practice approved in the Dept. of Defense health system and at least four other states. In Hawaii, prescribing psychologists would complete rigorous educational requirements (a post-doctoral master’s degree in psychopharmacology),...[ Read More ]