Physician Practice Roundup—Panel recommends action to prevent depression during and after pregnancy

Pregnant woman getting checkup
For the first time, a task force is recommending counseling for pregnant women at risk of depression. (Getty/byryo)

Panel recommends action to prevent depression during and after pregnancy

A task force of experts is recommending that clinicians provide or refer pregnant and postpartum women who are at increased risk of depression for counseling interventions.

The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) published its recommendation in JAMA. The task force said it found convincing evidence that counseling, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and interpersonal therapy, is effective in preventing perinatal depression.

The experts recommended that women with a history of depression, current symptoms of depression or certain socioeconomic factors, for example low-income or young or single parents, would benefit from counseling and could be considered at increased risk. The guidance was classified as a “B” recommendation, which would mean many health plans will need to cover such services at no additional cost since most insurance plans follow USPSTF guidance. (JAMA article)

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Thanks to e-cigs, more U.S. kids using tobacco

Once on the decline, tobacco use is increasing among young people in the U.S., fueled by e-cigarettes, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

More than one in four high school students and about one in 14 middle school students in 2018 said they used a tobacco product in the past 30 days, the CDC said. E-cigarette use increased from 11.7% to 20.8% among high school students from 2017 to 2018. It was the only tobacco product whose use increased. Healthcare providers can warn young patients about the risk of all tobacco product use, including e-cigarettes, the CDC said. (CDC report)

Many kids aren’t getting treated for mental health conditions

An estimated 7.7 million children in the United States have at least one mental health disorder and about half did not receive treatment from a mental health professional, according to a new JAMA Pediatrics study.

Researchers said the estimate of children not getting care varied considerably by state. Nationally, 49.4% of kids with a mental health disorder did not receive needed treatment or counseling from a mental health professional, which ranged from 29.5% in Washington, D.C., to 72.2% in North Carolina. The researchers said policy changes are needed to increase access to treatment. (JAMA Pediatrics study)

HIMSS19: ONC unveils long-awaited information blocking rule

As a major conference on health IT gets underway, the Department of Health and Human Services released a hotly anticipated rule on Monday morning aimed at boosting interoperability.

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology finally unveiled its information blocking rule (PDF), which was sent to the Office of Management and Budget for review in September.

The rule defines exceptions to data blocking, and fines that may be associated with the practice, and was mandated by the 21st Century Cures Act. (FierceHealthcare)

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