Reach Out PA: Wolf Administration Seeks Input from Providers on Barriers to Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Treatment February 07, 2020 SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Press Release, Public Health Governor Tom Wolf announced today that the Insurance Department, in partnership with multiple state agencies, released a survey asking health care providers for input on their experiences with barriers to mental health and substance use disorder treatment.Under the governor’s Reach Out PA: Your Mental Health Matters initiative, the Wolf Administration is undertaking a long-term, statewide campaign that seeks to educate and empower Pennsylvania providers and consumers about consumer rights under state and federal parity laws.“The results from this survey will allow us to better inform and collaborate with providers, advocates and personnel on the front lines,” said Gov. Wolf. “Their experiences will help us enhance resources, develop more tools and create learning opportunities that will help serve the providers’ needs, which will ultimately help those in need of mental wellness services.”For more than a decade, state and federal laws have required that treatment and services provided for mental health and substance use disorders must not have limitations that are stricter than those applied to medical/surgical treatments. Recent market conduct examinations of Pennsylvania insurers, however, have indicated that there are noncompliant barriers that are limiting consumers’ ability to access the treatment they need for mental health and substance use disorders.“While complicated in its wording, both state and federal law are very clear that inequitable barriers to mental health and substance use disorder treatment will not be permitted,” said Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman. “Through our market conduct examinations, we have found that many insurers have placed limitations on treatment that are stricter than state and federal parity requirements allow.”The Wolf Administration is looking for feedback from mental health and substance use disorder providers, as well as other providers who have heard from patients that they have run into barriers when seeking treatment. The survey, developed by a working group of staff from the Insurance Department, and departments of Health (DOH), Human Services (DHS), Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP), State, Aging, the Office of the Attorney General and the Governor’s Office, will be sent to providers across the commonwealth.The survey requests specific instances regarding complaints providers have heard from their patients about barriers to access. The survey also includes questions about providers’ experiences with barriers to treatment and problems with reimbursement for mental health and substance use disorder services. The aggregate data will be used to identify and address areas of concern by creating more accessible resources, included what is needed to help providers and other stakeholders learn more about parity.“We often hear of struggles when providers seek authorization from insurers for substance use disorder treatment, particularly opioid use disorder treatment,” said DDAP Secretary Jennifer Smith. “We hope to get a better understanding of trends and how best to address them.”“Providers typically have trusted relationships with their older adult patients that can be used to overcome stigma to seeking services and to help them gain access to mental health and substance abuse disorder treatments,” said Department of Aging Secretary Robert Torres. “We want all providers to have a knowledge base that empowers them to point their patients in the right direction.”“The process for determining whether parity protections are being followed is incredibly detailed and requires data that is best identified by mental health and substance use disorder providers,” said DOH Secretary Rachel Levine. “Using the insights we gain from this survey, we will be able to give our providers better tools to empower their patients and clients.”“Ensuring that mental health services are accessible to all Pennsylvanians is a critical step as we work to break down stigma and other barriers that keep people away from treatment,” said DHS Secretary Teresa Miller. “We need people to know that when they are ready to seek help, they will be met with support, not obstacles. This survey will help identify areas to improvement to ensure that people can access the help they need.”The survey specific to providers will be sent directly to the e-mail addresses provided to the Department of State through the licensing process. The Insurance Department will be accepting survey responses through March 4, 2020. For more information about the survey, individuals can e-mail RA-IN-Parity-PID@pa.gov.Since its introduction at the beginning of the year, Reach Out PA efforts have included a new consumer feedback form launched on January 23, and publication of a proposed regulation to enhance mental health parity reporting requirements for commercial health insurers. In just 10 days, more than 1,000 Pennsylvanians have completed the online form, offering input and suggestions, many of which detail challenges to accessing mental health services and pointing to potential parity violations.Resources are available on agency websites, including information on substance use disorder and mental health coverage. More information and videos on parity can be found on insurance.pa.gov. These resources will be updated and expanded based on responses to the survey.
Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error DENVER — Brandon Barnes entered the game late as a defensive replacement. He had plenty of time, as it turned out, to make the difference.Barnes hit a winning triple off the center-field wall in the 10th inning and the Colorado Rockies snapped an eight-game losing streak, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-4 Saturday.“I didn’t think I got it as good as I did, but I stayed through it enough to get it out there,” said Barnes, who entered in the eighth inning. “I was ecstatic and I was happy for the team. We broke through that little rut we were in and hopefully this picks us up and gets us going.”The defeat capped a tough day for the Dodgers, who saw outfielder Yasiel Puig and second baseman Dee Gordon leave early because of injuries. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said he’s hopeful that neither Gordon nor Puig will miss much time.“I couldn’t answer that right now,” Mattingly said. “The fact that there’s no further tests scheduled at this point leads me to believe, at least hopefully, that these are day-to-day issues and not long-term issues.”Gordon left in the fourth inning because of discomfort in his right hip. He was optimistic that he wouldn’t be out long after receiving treatment.“It feels way better now after doing some stuff for it,” Gordon said.Puig was out with a strained right hip flexor. He walked in the fifth, slid hard into second on a double-play grounder and didn’t take the field in the bottom half. “I was trying to break up the double play, and I felt a little something that was stretching my leg,” Puig said through a translator. “The medical staff wanted me to come out to get some treatment and hopefully it’s not that big of an issue.”Chris Perez (0-3) allowed a one-out single to Justin Morneau in the 10th. He fanned Michael McKenry before Barnes hit a deep drive to end it.Franklin Morales (4-4) pitched 1 1-3 scoreless innings.“I made my pitches, got the ball where it was supposed to go and got the hitters out,” Morales said. “We’ll take this. We had a bad stretch, lost eight in a row, and however it happened, we’ll take this.”The Dodgers fell to 3-8 in extra innings this season while the Rockies improved to 3-3.Trailing 3-0, the Dodgers scored four times in the seventh and chased Jhoulys Chacin.Matt Kemp drew a leadoff walk, Andre Ethier singled and Justin Turner hit an RBI single. Nick Masset relieved and Tim Federowicz drove his first offering over the left-field wall for his first homer since Sept. 18 at Arizona.Colorado made it 4-all in its half on a two-out, RBI single by Corey Dickerson off Dodgers starter Zack Greinke.The Rockies went up 3-0 in the fifth. McKenry, Ryan Wheeler and Josh Rutledge singled in succession off Greinke for a run.Wheeler was tagged out in a rundown between third and home on Chacin’s grounder, but Rutledge reached third on the play and scored on Charlie Blackmon’s two-out single to right.McKenry, a late addition to the lineup after catcher Wilin Rosario was scratched because of illness, singled in the second to drive in Troy Tulowitzki.NOTESWith the score tied, Kemp hit a leadoff triple in the eighth but was left stranded when the Dodgers followed with three straight groundouts. … The Rockies’ Michael Cuddyer missed a second game and remains day to day because of a sore left shoulder. … Rockies RHP Christian Bergman is set to make his major league debut Monday. He’ll be called up from Triple-A Colorado Springs to start against Atlanta in place of injured Jordan Lyles (broken left hand). … Barnes also had a walkoff hit while with Houston against Colorado on May 27, 2013, a ground rule double off Wilton Lopez. … Dodgers pitcher Chad Billingsley, coming back from Tommy John surgery in April 2013, is slated to resume a rehab assignment at Rancho Cucamonga this weekend. … Dodgers LHP Clayton Kershaw (4-2) will face LHP Jorge De La Rosa (6-4) in the series finale Sunday.
Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers With the 25th pick of the 2018 NBA Draft, the Lakers selected Michigan center Moritz “Moe” Wagner.Here’s a quick look at whom the Lakers are getting:School: MichiganYear: Junior What they say: Standing near 7 feet, Wagner’s ace shooting from behind the arc will make him a likely stretch-four for the Lakers. Wagner is known as an emotional player and leader, as Michigan advanced to the NCAA Championship Game with Wagner featuring as an offensive focal point throughout. He has, however, struggled to defend and that limited his ceiling in the Draft.Notable: Wagner grew up playing for clubs in his home country of Germany, making the top-tier team of Bundesliga as a 17-year-old. Still, he was not heavily recruited by American college programs until Michigan coach John Beilein saw his highlight reel, then flew out to Germany to meet him in person. The offer from Michigan was the only one Wagner received.Related Articles Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersAge: 21Position: CenterHeight: 6-foot-11Stats: He averaged 14.6 points, 7.1 rebounds and 0.5 blocked shots per game and shot 39.5 percent from 3-point range over his last two seasons.Honors: All Big-Ten second-team during the regular season, Wagner led the Wolverines to their second straight Big Ten Tournament title, earning tourney MVP honors. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error
Urbanization is by and large a good thing, corresponding with steady declines in extreme poverty. More compact cities may also hold the key to a sustainable future.But this trend has come with a side effect: more dangerous city streets.With more vehicles and more people in cities, there are more opportunities for crashes—especially as cities race to keep up with infrastructure demands, sometimes leading to sloppy or ill-planned growth.The World Health Organization estimates some 1.3 million people die in road-related crashes every year, a 4 percent increase from their last estimate in 2015. Ninety percent of fatalities occur in the developing world, where urbanization is fastest. The majority of these aren’t people in cars — they are walking or riding motorcycles or bicycles.To reverse this trend, it’s not enough to ask drivers, pedestrians, and other people using the road to simply drive or walk differently; city planners should be intentionally designing roads and cities with safety in mind.A video produced by WRI Brasil explains six simple road design changes that can significantly improve road safety. These changes put people—not vehicles—at the center of design to reduce speeds, demand more awareness from drivers and create more opportunities for safe crossings. They can even help make cities greener. Speed humps are another easy way to slow traffic in specific areas. They are simple, but incredibly effective, according to the numbers. A well-designed speed hump can be smoothly traversed by cars traveling at the desired speed for safety, rather than causing rapid deceleration and acceleration. Some studies show that speed humps can reduce the number of crashes by around 50 percent. Speed humps actually have the greatest impact on speed-limit compliance of any intervention.6. Raised CrossingsRaising the elevation of pedestrian crossings not only creates a speed hump but puts pedestrians higher in the eyeline of drivers, increasing their chances of being seen at night or in busy areas. It also sends a clear message that pedestrians have right of way. When they are raised to the level of the sidewalk, creating a smooth transition, they can also make it easier for those with different mobility needs such as people using wheelchairs, walkers or strollers to cross.Bonus: Compact, Coordinated and Connected PlanningFinally, though less a specific road design change and more an approach to urban planning generally, compact, mixed-use neighborhoods can improve road safety by making it less necessary to drive. Planning new urban expansions around access to public transportation, parks, schools, shopping and other activities means people can find more of what they need closer to where they live and work. In studies of the United States, a direct link has been shown between less private motor vehicle travel and lower rates of traffic crashes.Compact cities also reduce travel distances, encourage walking and cycling, and as a result are greener than more sprawling cities. A report from the New Climate Economy found a clear relationship between carbon emissions per capita and density, as well as savings in infrastructure capital investment from compact urban growth worth more than $3 trillion between 2015 and 2030. In many ways, a safer city is also a more sustainable city.To find out more about these and many other best practices that put people at the center of road safety, download Cities Safer by Design from wri.org.Special thanks to Daniel Hunter, Bruno Rizzon and Marta Obelheiro of WRI Brasil. 1. Shorter BlocksCity blocks can vary in size considerably, from less than 300 feet (90 meters) wide to more than 600 feet in some places. Shorter blocks improve pedestrian safety by creating more intersections and therefore providing more opportunities to cross the street safety. More junctions also mean more places where cars must stop, reducing vehicle speeds. In cases where long blocks are already established, mid-block crossings and pedestrian refuge islands can increase the number of safe crossing options and reduce the need for pedestrians to cross at un-marked locations.2. Narrower LanesOn a basic level, narrower lanes shorten the distance of pedestrian crossings, putting people in harm’s way for less time. But they also provide more space for sidewalks, a critical need in dense urban environments. They also have a psychological effect on drivers: Reduced street widths tend to lower vehicle speeds as drivers become more aware of risk.3. More RoundaboutsDepending on the scale and complexity of the intersection, installing roundabouts or traffic circles can significantly benefit safety. Circular junctions reduce the severity of crashes because all traffic is moving in the same direction, vehicles are forced to slow down and there is a lower chance of head-on collisions. Studies have shown an incredible 70-90 percent reduction in fatal and serious injuries in some places where roundabouts or traffic circles have been installed.4. ChicanesThese artificial turns, created by adding alternating extensions of the sidewalk or barriers, force drivers to slow down and pay closer attention. They can also provide more space for pedestrian-friendly infrastructure, like wider sidewalks, small parks or urban furniture.5. Speed HumpsSpeed humps slow traffic. Flickr/Michael Coghlan