Psychiatrists Replace Talk Therapy With Drugs

Talk therapy has dominated the psychiatric profession since the days of Sigmund Freud. Because of changes in how much insurers will pay, most of the nations 48,000 psychiatrists are forced to prescribe medications instead, usually after only a brief consultation with the patient.
Historically, psychiatrists often saw patients ten or more times before arriving at a diagnosis. But things have changed ― now they must make a decision in the first 45-minute visit. Without a diagnosis, they cannot get paid. Their patients are referred to a less costly therapist to explore their personal crises. Psychologists and social workers ― who unlike psychiatrists do not attend medical school ― can often afford to charge less which has driven down the price of talk therapy. There is no evidence that psychiatrists provide higher quality talk therapy than psychologists or social workers.

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More Hospitals Are Renovating to Accommodate the Obese

Bariatric ChairNovation, a medical supply contracting company, has released its 2010 Bariatric Report, a nationwide survey of about 300 VHA Inc. and University Health System Consortium member hospitals, confirming that the obesity epidemic poses new and significant challenges to U.S. hospitals. According to this survey, over 48 percent of the respondents saw an increase in admissions of morbidly obese patients since 2008 while 13 percent saw a significant increase. Moreover, 28 percent of the respondent hospitals reported having invested in physical renovations of their facilities last year to accommodate the morbidly obese with another 8 percent saying that they planned to do so. Novation reports that hospitals have been buying specialized medical equipment such as bariatric blood pressure cuffs, bariatric beds and mattresses, stretchers, operating room tables, and non-clinical furniture. While the industry has seen an overall decrease in spending on renovations and building improvements due to the still recovering economy, physical renovations to accommodate bariatric patients have increased — such as widening door openings, installing higher-load steel toilets, providing open showers, and purchasing new seating for patients and family members.

Incorporating the Parking Garage Into Disaster Planning

Parking GargeThe cars, minivans and sports-utility vehicles began lining up and slowly moving forward, just as they would at a busy fast food drive-thru. But there weren’t any burgers or fries on the menu. Instead, drivers and passengers were examined by a team of Stanford doctors and nurses, all without getting out of their cars. In what is believed to be the first training exercise in the country, a team of healthcare professionals at Stanford Hospital and Clinics turned the first floor of a parking garage into a drive-through emergency room in hopes of creating a more efficient way to treat a large number of patients during an influenza pandemic or other emergency. The hospital’s medical director for disaster planning believes that drive-through triage can serve as a blueprint for hospitals nationwide and across the globe. During the flu season, emergency departments are bursting at the seams as people with limited health insurance use the emergency department as their primary care physician. According to Dr. Eric Weiss, medical director of disaster planning at Stanford Hospital and Clinics and Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital: “We have to have a new mechanism to take care of large numbers of patients during a pandemic and I think that this is going to be it.”

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