Most news this week was overshadowed by the unexpected death of much-loved actor and comedian Robin Williams. His death has prompted discussions about the availability and delivery of mental healthcare services in the United States. Hint: It's not good. 60% of mentally ill patients received no care in the previous year. This week, Healthcare Dive took a snapshot of the state of mental illness in America.
Meanwhile, Veterans Affairs referrals have spiked. New secretary Robert McDonald announced that the VA has made more than 830,000 referrals for vets to see private physicians in the past two months, a 25% increase over the same period last year. The spike, McDonald said, has gotten veterans a million more appointments than they would have otherwise.
Other highlights: WHO authorized the use of experimental treatments for Ebola and WellPoint, the second-largest U.S.-based insurer announced that it will change its name to Anthem Inc. (the brand that it already uses for the majority of its healthcare insurance products).
Here are the biggest stories in the healthcare industry this week:
Are the tech giants going to be the guaranteed winners in the mHealth game?
The discount giant is stepping up its investment in healthcare, making what may be a truly disruptive play in the retail clinic space.
Internist William LaCorte has filed 12 False Claims lawsuits over the past two decades.
60% of mentally ill adults received no mental health services in the previous year.
One of the largest health systems in the U.S. is creating a comprehensive facility designed to consolidate all of its telemedicine initiatives under one roof.
And here's what we were reading:
- Health Leaders Media takes a look at the 3 things that the Ice Bucket Challenge can teach hospital marketers.
- HHS has ruled that even if medical malpractice claims are settled out of court, claims that include a written demand for payment must be reported to a national database. Modern Healthcare reports.
- In order to provide patients with comfort, Mount Sinai Hospital has launched a new oyster therapy program, according to The Onion.
- Lawmakers have begun calling for mental health reform in the wake of comedian Robin Williams' death this week. The Hill reports.