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To keep you better informed about some of the biggest news and developments concerning behavioral and mental health, below are 10 of the most significant reports published in January. Highlights include new USPSTF recommendations, a new CMS policy, a SAMHSA annual report, new children obesity guidelines and expanded coverage for military veterans.

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1. USPSTF: Screen Kids for Anxiety and Depression

Read our coverage and analysis of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force's (USPSTF) new behavioral health-related recommendations for primary care physicians.

2. COVID-19 Public Health Emergency to End in May, But Several Behavioral Health Flexibilities Will Remain

Behavioral Health Business summarized how the ending of the COVID-19 public health emergency in May will affect the behavioral health industry.

3. CMS Singles Out Behavioral Health in Plan to Streamline Payment Between Primary Care, Specialty Care

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a policy permitting Medicaid programs to directly pay consulting providers for interprofessional consultations, even when a patient is not present, in a decision that could help behavioral health providers get paid.

4. Children's Mental Health Tops List of Parent Worries, Survey Finds

A survey of parents conducted by the Pew Research Center revealed that 4 in 10 said they were extremely or very worried about their children struggling with anxiety or depression.

5. Substance Use Disorders Cost Employer-sponsored Health Insurance Over $35B a Year: CDC Study

A study by researchers with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that treating substance use disorders costs employer-sponsored insurance $35.3 billion a year. Researchers recommended employers install programs to help employees address these problems.

6. SAMHSA Announces National Survey on Drug Use and Health Results Detailing Mental Illness and Substance Use Levels in 2021

SAMHSA released the results of its annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). The 2021 report includes selected estimates by race, ethnicity and age group.

7. American Academy of Pediatrics Issues Its First Comprehensive Guideline on Evaluating, Treating Children and Adolescents With Obesity

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published its first comprehensive guidance in 15 years about obesity treatment in children. Recommendations include the use of behavioral therapy and intensive health behavior and lifestyle treatment (IHBLT).

8. New 988 Mental Health Crisis Line Sees 'Eye-opening' Rise in Calls, Texts, Chats in First 6 Months, Data Shows

Data showed that since the summer launch of the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, more than 300,000 calls, texts and chats have come in each month. When comparing December 2022 performance of the new 988 number to December 2021 performance of the former 1-800-273-TALK number, SAMHSA reported that calls answered increased by 48%, chats answered increased by 263% and texts answered increased by 1,445%.

9. Depression, Poor Mental Health in Young Adults Linked To Higher Cardiovascular Risks

Research revealed that young adults with depression or overall poor mental health report more heart attacks, strokes and risk factors for cardiovascular disease than peers without mental health issues. 

10. Military Veterans Can Now Receive Free Emergency Mental Health Care

The Department of Veterans Affairs expanded its care services to allow U.S. military veterans in an "acute suicidal crisis" to receive free treatment, including inpatient care up to 30 days and outpatient care for up to 90 days.



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