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State highlights: State mental hospitals compared to prisons; Johnson & Johnson ruling; Va. hospitals pick new leader

Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel asked the state Supreme Court on Monday to reconsider its decision tossing out a $1.2 billion judgment against drugmaker Johnson & Johnson, saying justices did "significant harm" to the state and broke from 170 years of precedent. [More]

Majority of Medicaid sign-ups centered in 10 states

An analysis from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services found that 80 percent of the 3 million people who enrolled in Medicaid since Oct. 1 were located in 10 states. Also in the news, specific enrollment tallies from Michigan and the latest on Virginia's legislative stalemate over the expansion. [More]

First Edition: April 8, 2014

Kaiser Health News staff writer Jay Hancock reports: "Under intense, bipartisan political pressure, the Obama administration backed down for the second year in a row on proposed payment cuts for insurance companies that offer private plans to Medicare members. [More]
Research roundup: Mental health parity; nurses' workload; can restaurants reduce portion size?

Research roundup: Mental health parity; nurses' workload; can restaurants reduce portion size?

Historically, health insurance covered mental health care differently than other medical care. Recent laws have begun bringing them into balance. ... Congress passed the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) in 2008. ... the MHPAEA applied to large group health plans, both fully and self-insured, and included a cost exemption. [More]
Viewpoints: Debate rolls on about enrollment numbers; Ryan's plan 'squeezes seniors'

Viewpoints: Debate rolls on about enrollment numbers; Ryan's plan 'squeezes seniors'

You can forgive a little football-spiking, even if Obamacare is far from the end zone. The White House this week announced that the number of people who enrolled in new individual health-care insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act topped 7 million and could still rise. [More]

18 Dems join House GOP on bill to change law's definition of full time

The legislation is bolstered by Republican charges that employers are cutting part-time workers' hours so that they don't have to provide insurance to those workers. [More]
1/3 of ICU patients develop depression that typically manifests as physical symptoms

1/3 of ICU patients develop depression that typically manifests as physical symptoms

A third of intensive care patients develop depression that typically manifests as physical, or somatic, symptoms such as weakness, appetite change, and fatigue, rather than psychological symptoms, according to one of the largest studies to investigate the mental health and functional outcomes of survivors of critical care, published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine. [More]
Research: Chronic sleep deprivation linked to heart failure

Research: Chronic sleep deprivation linked to heart failure

Poor sleep doubles hospitalisations in heart failure, according to new research in nearly 500 patients presented today at EuroHeartCare 2014. [More]

Married and single moms suffer higher rates of depression living with parents

Does living with grandparents ease or worsen a mothers' baby blues? The answer may depend on the mother's marital status, a new study from Duke University suggests. [More]
Researchers integrate meditation and science to develop targeted mental health treatments

Researchers integrate meditation and science to develop targeted mental health treatments

Mindfulness is always personal and often spiritual, but the meditation experience does not have to be subjective. Advances in methodology are allowing researchers to integrate mindfulness experiences with brain imaging and neural signal data to form testable hypotheses about the science - and the reported mental health benefits - of the practice. [More]

Viewpoints: 'Pent-up demand' for health care; too early for that White House victory lap; the fight over Medicare advantage

More than seven million people have signed up for insurance on the new federal and state health exchanges, President Obama said this week. Millions more could be added to that total once insurers tally up the people who bought policies directly from them and when those who tried to apply on balky websites are able to complete the process. [More]

Ryan budget plan stirs opposition on both sides of the aisle

The proposal from House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., would cut $5 trillion over the next decade by repealing the Affordable Care Act and making sharp cuts to health care programs for the middle class and the poor. Democrats are incorporating the proposal into their midterm campaign strategy, while some Republicans, angered by the House leadership's handling of the 'doc fix' vote, are also expressing doubts. [More]

Longer looks: New doubts about shaken baby syndrome; arresting the mentally ill; self-help therapy

A number of reexamined cases in recent years-;aided by new technology and debate among medical experts-;have put proponents of the (Shaken Baby Syndrome) hypothesis on the defensive. [More]
Kidney disease patients with poor quality of life at increased risk of developing heart problems

Kidney disease patients with poor quality of life at increased risk of developing heart problems

Kidney disease patients with poor quality of life are at increased risk of experiencing progression of their disease and of developing heart problems, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. The findings suggest that quality of life measurements may have important prognostic value in these individuals. [More]
Study reveals role of dopamine in hippocampus region of brain

Study reveals role of dopamine in hippocampus region of brain

Bruno Giros, PhD, a researcher at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute and a professor in the Department of Psychiatry at McGill University, has demonstrated, for the first time, the role that dopamine plays in a region of the brain called the hippocampus. [More]

Excessive alcohol use does not alter course of bipolar mood states

Patients with bipolar disorder who consume alcohol do not experience significant changes in their self-reported mood states with increased consumption, show Dutch study findings. [More]
Rural nursing presents challenges, rewards

Rural nursing presents challenges, rewards

Providing comprehensive health care can be a daunting task for nurses serving nearly 60 million people living in rural America. [More]

Majority of Albertans endorse perinatal mental health screening

After struggling with anxiety and depression since her teens, Lana Berry hit bottom at age 26. Divorced, unemployed and back living with her parents, she found herself in a dark place-"as sick as I'd ever been." [More]
First Edition: April 3, 2014

First Edition: April 3, 2014

Today's headlines include reports on how Paul Ryan's budget is playing on Capitol Hill as well as news that the Obama administration is releasing a trove of data on physician services and payments. [More]

Researchers generate high-resolution blueprint for how to build human brain

Researchers at the Allen Institute for Brain Science have generated a high-resolution blueprint for how to build a human brain, with a detailed map of where different genes are turned on and off during mid-pregnancy at unprecedented anatomical resolution. [More]