‘It Is Time to Acknowledge’ the Role of Nurse Practitioners Amid Mental Health Care Shortage

Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners (PMHNPs) are entering the field at a rate far exceeding psychiatrists, a trend that reveals significant opportunities for policy reform. The number of PMHNPs in the field skyrocketed in the past five years, while the number of psychiatric residency matches grew at only a linear rate, according to a new […]

Number of Primary Care Physicians Addressing Mental Health Concerns Hits All-Time High

The percentage of primary care visits addressing mental health concerns increased from 10.7% in 2006 and 2007, to 15.9% by 2016 and 2018. That’s according to a recent study published in Health Affairs that shows a growing involvement of primary care clinicians in addressing behavioral health concerns. As part of the study, researchers analyzed a […]

OUD Providers Fail to Find Consensus on Addressing the Digital Divide

There is still no consensus regarding opioid use disorder (OUD) providers’ approach to addressing digital equity issues preventing patients from accessing telehealth. A survey report published in the health policy journal Health Affairs found that 77% of OUD clinicians used one or more strategies to address barriers to video-based telehealth visits. However, solo practitioners were […]

Nurse Practitioners in Mental Health Workforce Nearly Tripled Over 8 Years

Expanding numbers of nurse practitioners have filled the void left by the declining influence of physicians involved in behavioral health care. However, the rise of nurse practitioners has not totally offset downward trends among physicians in terms of the general mental health workforce or in terms of national medication-assisted treatment (MAT) capacity, according to two […]

Nursing Home Operators Increasingly Investing in Mental Health, OUD Services

Magnified by visitation restrictions and other challenges, seniors had some of the highest rates of behavioral health conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic. And while the public health emergency has become more manageable, many of those difficulties continue. Yet seniors often don’t have access to behavioral health care, particularly those in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs). This […]

Despite Increased Demand, Fewer People Started Mental Health Medications Amid COVID-19

While COVID-19 has worsened the nation’s overall behavioral health, it has also interrupted the delivery of behavioral health treatment, a new study suggests.  The research — published last month in the journal Health Affairs — shows that fewer people started antidepressants, antipsychotics and anti-anxiety medications during the first five months of the pandemic. Specifically, new […]

Questionable Practices, High Costs Still Plague Residential SUD Treatment Space

Even after regulatory crackdowns at the state and federal levels in recent years, many residential treatment programs are still using questionable tactics to recruit individuals for expensive substance use disorder (SUD) services, according to a newly published study in the journal Health Affairs. For the study, researchers from the Harvard University T.H. Chan School of […]

Medicaid Expansion Leads to Spike in Number of People Receiving SUD Treatment

The expansion of Medicaid has allowed thousands to receive treatment for substance use disorder (SUD), a new study shows. States that chose to expand Medicaid following the enactment of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have seen significantly more low-income adults seek treatment for SUD than states that did not. In fact, in four years, expansion […]

Community Health Workers Save Money, Improve Outcomes By Tackling Social and Behavioral Needs

By addressing social determinants of health and coordinating care, community health workers help save Medicaid payers significant amounts of money, while also leading to better overall outcomes for patients, a new study asserts. The findings could reasonably be applied to behavioral health providers. By offering preventative care to address social factors, the study suggests organizations […]

20% Fewer Adults Getting Opioid Prescriptions — But Numbers Don’t Tell Whole Story

Although President Trump declared the opioid epidemic a “public health emergency” in 2017, substance abuse providers and government officials have been battling the problem since well before then. After years of hard work, statistics suggest their efforts could be paying off — though challenges remain. Nationwide, the total number of opioid overdose deaths and prescriptions […]