fpamed News

Despite Federal Law, Some Insurance Exchange Plans Offer Unequal Coveragge for Mental Healt

According to an article in Medical Press dated March 3, 2015, One-quarter of the health plans being sold on health insurance exchanges set up through the Affordable Care Act offer benefits that appear to violate a federal law requiring equal benefits for general medical and mental health care, according to new research led by the […]

California Report Slams Kaiser Permanente for Long Delays for Mental Health Care

from the American Psychiatric Association headlines February 25, 2015 Leading The News California Report Slams Kaiser Permanente For Long Delays For Mental Health Care Treatment. The Los Angeles Times (2/25, Pfeifer, Terhune) reports that in a report released Feb. 24, the California Department of Managed Health Care “slammed HMO giant Kaiser Permanente for causing mental […]

Institute of Medicine Redefines Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

The authoritative Institute of Medicine (part of the distinguished National Academies of Science, Engineering, Institute of Medicine and National Research Council) convened a high level commission to review Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. They have modified the diagnostic criteria as described below. Psychiatry Advisor reported on February 24, 2015: The IOM report lays out new diagnostic criteria […]

The Forensic Psychiatric Report

The following article by Norko and Buchanan from The Journal of Psychiatric Practice describes the purpose and structure of a well written forensic psychiatric report. J Psychiatr Pract. 2015 Jan;21(1):67-71. doi: 10.1097/01.pra.0000460623.40923.47. The forensic psychiatric report. Norko MA1, Buchanan MA. Author information Abstract The construction of a written forensic report is a core component of […]

Engaging veterans with substance abuse disorders into a research trial: success with study branding, networking, and presence

The focus of this paper is on the recruitment and retention strategies used for a study addressing multiple risk behaviors among veterans with alcohol or drug problems. Focused on clients in substance abuse treatment, challenges with research recruitment and retention were anticipated due to low motivation to change additional risk behaviors, frequent and abrupt changes […]

CONSUMER GUIDE AND Scorecard Health Insurance Coverage in California for Substance Use Disorders & Mental Health

fpamed Forensic Psychiatrist and Addiction Medicine specialist, David Y. Kan, MD, an officer of the California Society of Addiction Medicine (CSAM), has developed a tool to assist consumers to evaluate and compare the addiction and mental health treatment benefit features of the major health insurance plans on sale to the public in California. CSAM is […]

Expert Testimony in Zoloft Lawsuit Ruled Inadmissible

Experts for the plaintiffs were prepared to testify that Zoloft caused birth defects in humans, but US District Judge Cynthia Rufe found the scientific opinion supporting the connection to be unreliable and inadmissible during trial. Read article here: Expert Testimony in Zolo…ible | ExpertPages Blog  

(Suicidal) Depression can be treated but it takes competence: Kay Redfield Jamison PhD

In the wake of Robin William’s tragic death, Professor Kay Jamison PhD wrote a stunning piece on depression and suicide in the NYTimes on 8/15/14 (see http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/16/opinion/depression-can-be-treated-but-it-takes-competence.html?module=Search&mabReward=relbias%3As%2C%7B%221%22%3A%22RI%3A5%22%7D&_r=0)  Her basic premise is that suicidal depression is treatable but it requires a competent psychiatrist. Furthermore, mental health treaters are a heterogeneous lot and there is no consistency of […]

US Supreme Court Lets California Law Stand Banning “Reparative” Therapies With Minors

The US Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of the California law banning the use of so-called “reparative” psycho-therapies with minors, thus permitting the existing law to stand. So-called “reparative” therapies lack scientific validation but are popular particularly among some politically conservative religious groups who believe that homosexuality is a volitional “choice” that can […]

Study Finds That Common Lab Test Can Help Predict Antidepressant Treatment Response

A widely used lab test for inflammation, C-reactive protein, may help differentiate between serotonin responders and norepinephrine responders, thus reducing the trial and error time for antidepressant medication treatment. See Study Finds That Common Lab Test Can Help Predict Antidepressant Treatment Response

The management of depression during pregnancy: a report from the American Psychiatric Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist

This is a joint report by the American Psychiatric Association and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology discussing treatment guidelines for depressed pregnant women and the known risks of SSRI (and SNRI) antidepressant drugs in particular. A “must” read for all practicing psychiatrists. https—vpn.ucsf.edu-pmc…nih.gov+nihms293837.pdf.pdf

Antidepressants May Have Role in Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease, Study Suggests

This is a remarkable report. Obviously, a natural prospective study would be to track the population of millions of people currently taking SSRI antidepressants (or even just citalopram on which the study is based) and see the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease going forward. Here is the citation for the original article:  Sheline et al.Science Translational Medicine Home, 14 May […]

Risk for Psychiatric Disorders Increases After Head Injury, Study Finds

This is a striking Danish study showing the strong association between head trauma and subsequent psychiatric illness. The Voice of the American Psychiatric Association and the Psychiatric Community THURSDAY, APRIL 3, 2014 Risk for Psychiatric Disorders Increases After Head Injury, Study Finds Studies on the relationship of head injury to later development of psychiatric disorders have produced […]

Malcolm Gladwell On American Health Care: An Interview

Malcolm Gladwell, the social commentator who added to our lexicon “tipping point,” “outlier” and “blink” made some insightful observations about American healthcare, the Affordable Care Act and American Physicians in a recent interview with Forbes Medical Contributor Robert Pearl, MD…. Malcolm Gladwell speaking at a 2008 conference. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)   Robert Pearl, M.D., ContributorI cover […]

Researchers May Have Identified Biomarker for Concussion

This article posted today in JAMA Neurology, offers the promise of an objective biomarker for mTBI. Such a biomarker, if its reliability is established, would enable forensic psychiatric, neuropsychiatric and neurologic experts to offer to the trier of fact objective evidence for the presence of a mTBI.   from Psychiatric News Alert, the voice of the American […]

Study Finds Gene Methylation a Marker of PTSD Vulnerability

from Psychiatric News Alert: The Voice of the American Psychiatric Association and the Psychiatric Community This journal article may provide an important new piece to the puzzle of trying to understand PTSD vulnerability and resiliency factors. It could bring us closer to biological testing for PTSD vulnerability which could eventually be used to screen applicants for […]

Effective Use of Forensic Psychiatry in Catastrophic Injury, Toxic Torts, and Multi-Party Litigation

Michael Fox, a partner at the Sedgwick law firm, San Francisco office, together with Ronald Roberts PhD and Mark Levy MD from fpamed, spoke on panel at the International Association of Defense Counsel midyear meeting at Carlsbad, California on February 11, 2014  The powerpoint slides can be downloaded in pdf format here: Effective Use of […]

Litigating Disability Claims: Subjective Disorders – Objective Proof of Non-Visible Conditions

The attached pdf of PowerPoint slides accompanied a panel discussion at the January 23, 2014 American Conference Institute program held in New York City on Litigating  Disability Claims. Mark Levy MD was the physician presenter in this program. Download pdf of Subjective Disorders- Objective Proof of _Non Visable_ Conditions

Premature Mortality After a Traumatic Brain Injury

An interesting article published in the January 15, 2014 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association – Psychiatry (JAMA Psychiatry) concerns the fate of a small minority of traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients who die prematurely. A study in Sweden between 1969 and 2009 followed 218,300 patient who survived more than six months […]

David Kan MD discusses Alcoholism on Pat Thurston Show KGO 810 Radio

On January 12, 2014, David Kan,MD, an fpamed addiction and forensic psychiatrist and assistant clinical professor, Department of Psychiatry, UCSF, discussed alcoholism with talk radio host Pat Thurston on KGO 810 Radio in San Francisco. Dr. Kan’s interview can be heard here:

The Use of Forensic Psychiatry in Catastrophic Injury and Multi-Party Litigation

Forensic psychiatry seeks to determine what is objectively true about a plaintiff’s diagnosis and possible injury, using neurocognitive and psychological testing, interviewing, and a review of documentary data, Michael L. Fox and Mark I. Levy say in this BNA Insight. The authors—one an attorney, the other a forensic psychiatrist—offer a primer on the use of forensic psychiatric evidence in catastrophic injury and mass tort claims, including advice on the practical, legal and ethical issues that arise in these cases.

Mice may inherit traumatic experiences, study shows

This is a “paradigm shifter!” Research from Emory University has shown the ability to inherit fears of specific traumatic experiences across multiple generations of mice. If this occurs in higher mammals, such as humans, it “inverts” Darwin’s idea. Natural Selection may be a much more rapid process than something determined by simply “random” genetic events. […]

Bloomberg BNA: The Use of Forensic Psychiatry in Catastrophic Injury and Multi-Party Litigation

Michael Fox, Esq.,  a Partner at the Sedgwick Law Firm and UCSF forensic psychiatrist Mark I. Levy MD, have written this article for the December 9, 2013 issue of Bloomberg BNA discussing the role of forensic psychiatry in the assessment of emotional damages claims in catastrophic injury and multi-party litigation. bbna expert evidence dec9

Three’s A Crowd

Esteemed forensic psychiatrist Robert Simon, MD, published a timeless article several years ago entitled “Three’s A Crowd.” It addresses the recurring problem of (usually) plaintiff attorneys seeking to be present in the room during the defense forensic psychiatric evaluation of their client and the potentially chilling and distorting effects upon the examination that such presence […]

Legal Applications of Forensic Child Psychology

Legal Applications of Forensic Child Psychology In addition to the role of the forensic psychiatrist in criminal cases, the specially trained professionals also play an important role in evaluating the children and adults involved in a court case. In cases involving child custody, evaluations are performed to determine the parenting capacity of each parent, in […]