Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Medicaid and Medicare are two governmental programs that provide medical and health-related services to specific groups of people in the United States. Although the two programs are very different, they are both managed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

What is Medicaid?

Medicaid is a means-tested health and medical services program for certain individuals and families with low incomes and few resources. Primary oversight of the program is handled at the federal level, but each state:
  • Establishes its own eligibility standards,
  • Determines the type, amount, duration, and scope of services,
  • Sets the rate of payment for services, and
  • Administers its own Medicaid program.

What services are provided with Medicaid?

Although the States are the final deciders of what their Medicaid plans provide, there are some mandatory federal requirements that must be met by the States in order to receive federal matching funds. Required services include:
  • Inpatient hospital services
  • Outpatient hospital services
  • Prenatal care
  • Vaccines for children
  • Physician services
  • Nursing facility services for persons aged 21 or older
  • Family planning services and supplies
  • Rural health clinic services
  • Home health care for persons eligible for skilled-nursing services
  • Laboratory and x-ray services
  • Pediatric and family nurse practitioner services
  • Nurse-midwife services
  • Federally qualified health-center (FQHC) services and ambulatory services
  • Early and periodic screening, diagnostic, and treatment (EPSDT) services for children under age 21
States may also provide optional services and still receive Federal matching funds. The most common of the 34 approved optional Medicaid services are:
  • Diagnostic services
  • Clinic services
  • Intermediate care facilities for the mentally retarded (ICFs/MR)
  • Prescribed drugs and prosthetic devices
  • Optometrist services and eyeglasses
  • Nursing facility services for children under age 21
  • Transportation services
  • Rehabilitation and physical therapy services
  • Home and community-based care to certain persons with chronic impairments

Who is eligible for Medicaid?

Each state sets its own Medicaid eligibility guidelines. The program is geared towards people with low incomes, but eligibility also depends on meeting other requirements based on age, pregnancy status, disability status, other assets, and citizenship.
  • Individuals who meet the requirements for the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program that were in effect in their state on July 16, 1996
  • Children under age 6 whose family income is at or below 133% of the Federal poverty level (FPL)
  • Pregnant women with family income below 133% of the FPL
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients
  • Recipients of adoption or foster care assistance under Title IV of the Social Security Act
  • Special protected groups such as individuals who lose cash assistance due to earnings from work or from increased Social Security benefits
  • Children born after September 30, 1983 who are under age 19 and in families with incomes at or below the FPL
  • Certain Medicare beneficiaries

Thursday, October 13, 2011

CBT in Psychiatric Rehabilitation

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is a relatively new form of psychotherapy. Initiated in the 1960’s by Aaron Beck M.D. and compliment by Maxie Maultsby M.D. Rational Behavior Therapy, the fusion of the two was the beginning of what we call CBT today. CBT is an approach that emphasizes the important role of thinking. What are the transitions of mood and feeling in the everyday of what we do.
Psychiatric Rehabilitation is the attempt at consumer recovery through the aim of reducing barriers as well as the implications of the disabling factors in individual’s succession into community integration. This is done through various tools, trainings and adoptions of skill sets taught by specialists to the consumer. The goal is to educate not treat the consumer.
Two popular CBT techniques in psychiatric rehabilitation is the incorporation of Cognitive behavioral social skills training (CBSST) and Supportive contact (SC). These are two different approaches to assist the consumer on their path to recovery.
Cognitive behavioral social skills training (CBSST) a form of CBT utilized in rehabilitation settings, is when a group behavioral therapy intervention focuses on improving cognitive and social skills deficits that interfere with normal functioning in consumers.
Supportive contact (SC) is a group therapy intervention that focuses on helping consumers to verbalize their problems or worries and to seek advice from fellow group members.
These are a few of the many tools that are used by rehabilitation specialists to assess changes in cognition.  Training and education for individuals with persistent severe mental illness is just a small portion of benefits of psychiatric rehabilitation.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Just a reminder: Get your Flu Shot.

Health officials say it`s important to get vaccinated sooner rather than later. Everyone ages 6 months and older should be vaccinated with a flu shot or nasal mist. People most at risk include children between the ages of 6 months and 4 years old, adults over 50, residents who live in long-term care facilities and anyone with long-term health problems. Pregnant women should  also be vaccinated.
According to the Centers for disease control and prevention (CDC) people should know these key Facts About Seasonal Flu Vaccine
The single best way to protect against the flu is to get vaccinated each year.
There are two types of vaccines:
  • The “flu shot” — an inactivated vaccine (containing killed virus) that is given with a needle, usually in the arm. The flu shot is approved for use in people older than 6 months, including healthy people and people with chronic medical conditions.

    There are three different flu shots available:
    • a regular flu shot approved for people ages 6 months and older
    • a high-dose flu shot approved for people 65 and older, and
    • an intradermal flu shot approved for people 18 to 64 years of age.
  • The “nasal-spray flu vaccine” — a vaccine made with live, weakened flu viruses that are given as a nasal spray. The viruses in the nasal spray vaccine do not cause the flu. LAIV is approved for use in healthy* people 2 years old through 49 years of age who are not pregnant.
Seasonal flu vaccines protect against the three influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. Any healthcare facility in your state should offer flu vaccine. That includes private clinics, local public health units and also pharmacies, even Department Stores (Wal-Mart and Target) are offering shots