Archive for the ‘Mental Health’ Category
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Mass Shootings and a Mental-Health Disgrace
The federal bureaucracy is anti-patient, anti-family and anti-medical care. Reform is essential
Mr. Murphy, a Republican, is a U.S. representative from Pennsylvania and a psychologist in the Navy Reserve Medical Service Corps.
Oct .9, 2015
EXCERPT FROM THIS ARTICLE:
In 1955 there were 558,000 inpatient psychiatric beds in the U.S. Today there are fewer than 45,000. The severe shortage is due to the decades-long deinstitutionalization that began in the civil-rights era. But it has been exacerbated by a Medicaid reimbursement rule known as the “institutions for mental diseases exclusion,” which prohibits federal matching payments for inpatient care at psychiatric hospitals with more than 16 beds. My bill moves away from the arbitrary 16-bed cap and establishes a clinical standard for patients with serious mental illness.
These past few months have brimmed with tragedy. Americans are struggling to make sense of horrific acts of mass violence like the August shooting on live television in Roanoke, Va., and last week’s college campus shooting in Roseburg, Ore.
We all know how this plays out in Congress: a moment of silence on the House floor and a fraternal feeling of melancholy when the flag over the Capitol is lowered to half-staff. But that moment of silence will not heal the hearts of those who lost a loved one, and it will not stop the next tragedy. Here and now we need action; we need real change.
That’s why I’ve authored the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act. The bill focuses resources and reform where they are most needed: to foster evidence-based care, fix the shortage of psychiatric hospital beds, empower patients and caregivers under HIPAA privacy laws, and help patients get treatment well before their illness spirals into crisis.
As chairman of the House Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, I led a congressional investigation into our failed mental-health system after the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. What we found was shocking and disgraceful: a wasteful federal bureaucracy that is anti-patient, anti-family and anti-medical care. The federal government has more than 112 programs that deal with mental health in one way or another, yet a person with serious mental illness is 10 times more likely to be in a prison cell than a psychiatric hospital bed.