Omitting Food From In-Kind Support and Maintenance Calculations

A Proposed Rule by the Social Security Administration on 02/15/2023: For Complete Post, Click Here…

ngd-This rule would get rid of one of the most pointless cruelties of the SSI program…

We propose to update our regulations to remove food from the calculation of In-Kind Support and Maintenance (ISM). We also propose to add conforming language to our definition of income, excluding food from the ISM calculation. Accordingly, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) applicants and recipients would no longer need to provide information about their food expenses for us to consider in our ISM calculations. We expect that these changes will simplify our rules, making them less cumbersome to administer and easier for the public to understand and follow. These simplifications would make it easier for SSI applicants and recipients to comply with our program requirements, which would save time for both them and us, and improve the equitable treatment of food assistance within the SSI program. The proposed rule also includes other, minor revisions to the regulations related to income, including clarifying our longstanding position that income may be received “constructively” (we will define this term below).

Disfigured: On Fairy Tales, Disability, and Making Space

by Amanda Leduc: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Fairy tales shape how we see the world, so what happens when you identify more with the Beast than Beauty? If every disabled character is mocked and mistreated, how does the Beast ever imagine a happily-ever-after? Amanda Leduc looks at fairy tales from the Brothers Grimm to Disney, showing us how they influence our expectations and behaviour and linking the quest for disability rights to new kinds of stories that celebrate difference. “Historically we have associated the disabled body image and disabled life with an unhappy ending” – Sue Carter, Toronto Star “Leduc persuasively illustrates the power of stories to affect reality in this painstakingly researched and provocative study that invites us to consider our favorite folktales from another angle.” – Sara Shreve, Library Journal “She [Leduc] argues that template is how society continues to treat the disabled: rather than making the world accessible for everyone, the disabled are often asked to adapt to inaccessible environments.” – Ryan Porter, Quill & Quire “Read this smart, tenacious book.” – The Washington Post “A brilliant young critic named Amanda Leduc explores this pernicious power of language in her new book, Disfigured … Leduc follows the bread crumbs back into her original experience with fairy tales – and then explores their residual effects … Read this smart, tenacious book.” – The Washington Post

10 Things to Know About the Unwinding of the Medicaid Continuous Enrollment Provision

Jennifer Tolbert and Meghana Ammula: For Complete Post, Click Here…

At the start of the pandemic, Congress enacted the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which included a requirement that Medicaid programs keep people continuously enrolled through the end of the month in which the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) ends, in exchange for enhanced federal funding. Primarily due to the continuous enrollment provision, Medicaid enrollment has grown substantially compared to before the pandemic and the uninsured rate has dropped. But, when the continuous enrollment provision ends, millions of people could lose coverage that could reverse recent gains in coverage. As part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023, signed into law on December 29, 2022, Congress set an end of March 31, 2023 for the continuous enrollment provision, and phases down the enhanced federal Medicaid matching funds through December 2023. States that accept the enhanced federal funding can resume disenrollments beginning in April but must meet certain reporting and other requirements during the unwinding process.

This brief describes 10 key points about the unwinding of the Medicaid continuous enrollment requirement, highlighting data and analyses that can inform the unwinding process as well as recent legislation and guidance issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to help states prepare for the end of the continuous enrollment provision.

Ketamine Could Be Effective Treatment for Cocaine-Use Disorders

From Neuroscience News: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Summary: Those with cocaine use disorder who were administered ketamine for depression or pain experienced a two-to-four times higher remission rate.

Source: Case Western Reserve

As cocaine use continues to climb across the United States, scientists have struggled to develop an effective pharmacological approach to treat the devastating disorder.

But by seamlessly combining artificial intelligence (AI), human intelligence, clinical testing and computer analysis, researchers at Case Western Reserve University have unearthed an existing option that appears to hold promise.

“Ketamine, a small synthetic organic molecule used clinically as an anesthetic and a depression treatment, was found to be associated with significant improvement in remission among people with cocaine-use disorders,” said the study’s corresponding author Rong Xu, professor of biomedical informatics and founding director of the Center for AI in Drug Discovery at the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine.

“This study is a great example of addressing an intractable problem by the creative use of AI using different sources of data,” said study co-author Pamela Davis, the Arline and Curtis Garvin Research Professor at the School of Medicine. “It is our hope that this approach will suggest therapeutic approaches for other difficult problems.”

Instant Improvement in Arm Mobility Following Stroke With Spinal Cord Stimulation

BY UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH: For Complete Post, Click Here…

A neurotechnology that stimulates the spinal cord instantly improves arm and hand mobility, enabling people affected by moderate to severe stroke to conduct their normal daily activities more easily, report researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University today (February 20, 2023) in the journal Nature Medicine.

A pair of thin metal electrodes resembling strands of spaghetti implanted along the neck engage intact neural circuits, allowing stroke patients to fully open and close their fist, lift their arm above their head or use a fork and knife to cut a piece of steak for the first time in years.

“We discovered that electrical stimulation of specific spinal cord regions enables patients to move their arm in ways that they are not able to do without the stimulation. Perhaps even more interesting, we found that after a few weeks of use, some of these improvements endure when the stimulation is switched off, indicating exciting avenues for the future of stroke therapies,” said corresponding and co-senior author Marco Capogrosso, Ph.D., assistant professor of neurological surgery at Pitt. “Thanks to years of preclinical research building up to this point, we have developed a practical, easy-to-use stimulation protocol adapting existing FDA-approved clinical technologies that could be easily translated to the hospital and quickly moved from the lab to the clinic.”

Psychiatric hospital for Michigan’s sickest children struggles to stop patient escapes

By: Ross Jones: For Complete Post, Click Here…

ngd-“Sickest” if a very poor choice of words…

Michigan’s only state-run psychiatric hospital for children—reserved for patients with the most severe mental illnesses—has experienced a surge of patient escapes in just the last month.

Five patient escapes from Hawthorn Center occurred in January alone, with some of those patients now facing possible criminal charges as a result of their conduct once they left the hospital.

For children battling the most severe mental illnesses, there is no place more vital than the Northville Township hospital.

As 7 Action News as reported, the waiting list to be admitted to Hawthorn is usually months long.

The children treated there are in need of urgent, round-the-clock care. Almost always, says mental health advocate Marianne Huff, they pose a danger to themselves or others.

“Starting fires in their family home, threatening their parents and their siblings,” Huff said, listing off the behaviors of many patients admitted to the hospital. Trying to hang themselves, overdoses.”

But as hard as it is to get into Hawthorn Center, some patients have found it easy to get out.

14 different patient escapes have been reported at the facility since 2020, according to police records obtained by 7 Action News.

Michigan provides Medicaid enrollees with information about options as eligibility requirements restart following recent federal legislation

From MDHHS: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Medicaid beneficiaries will have to renew their coverage this year, starting in June, as Michigan resumes Medicaid eligibility redeterminations to comply with federal legislation.

During the federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, Congress enacted the Families First Coronavirus Response Act that required state Medicaid agencies continue health care coverage for all medical assistance programs, even if someone’s eligibility changed. Michigan’s Medicaid caseload grew by more than 700,000 people during the public health emergency. This requirement was ended by the federal Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 signed Dec. 29, 2022.

Michiganders who no longer qualify for Medicaid will receive additional information about other affordable health coverage options available, including on Affected Michiganders will be able to shop for and enroll in comprehensive health insurance as they transition away from Medicaid, and many Michiganders can purchase a plan for less than $10 per month.

Renewals for traditional Medicaid and the Healthy Michigan Plan will take place monthly starting in June 2023 and run through May 2024. Monthly renewal notices will be sent three months prior to a beneficiaries’ renewal date starting with June renewal dates. Beneficiaries can check their renewal month at

CMS Proposes Benefit Expansion for Mobility Devices, Advancing Health Equity for People with Disabilities

From ACL: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Proposal supports coverage of power seat elevation equipment for power wheelchairs.

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a proposed National Coverage Determination (NCD) decision that would, for the first time, expand coverage for power seat elevation equipment on certain power wheelchairs to Medicare individuals. The proposed NCD is open for public comment for 30 days.

“Millions of people with Medicare rely on medically necessary assistive devices to perform daily tasks that directly impact their quality of life. CMS remains committed to ensuring persons with disabilities are receiving available benefits that improve their health,” said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure. “Today’s proposal promotes a first of its kind benefit expansion providing people with Medicare additional tools to improve their lives.”

If finalized, power seat elevation equipment would be covered by Medicare for individuals with a Group 3 power wheelchair, which are designed to meet the needs of people with Medicare with severe disabilities, in order to improve their health as they transfer from the wheelchair to other surfaces. Transfers often strain shoulder and back muscles and constrain an individual’s daily mobility at home and other customary locations.

Depression and Epilepsy: What’s the Connection?

by Emily Brown: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Depression and epilepsy share a strong connection. In fact, depression commonly occurs alongside epilepsy: Around 23 percent of people with epilepsy have or have had depression. By comparison, around 5 percent of the general population of U.S. adults have regular feelings of depression.

If you are living with epilepsy and experience or have experienced depression, know that you are certainly not alone. Understanding the causes and risk factors of depression, as well as ways to manage the condition, can help.

Causes of Depression

There are several potential causes of depression. Some are outside your control, such as neurological changes and medical conditions, which is the case for someone with epilepsy. Sometimes things change and depression passes, whereas sometimes it remains.

What’s the Difference Between Depression and Sadness?

Whereas sadness generally passes after a day or a week, depression is a mood disorder that sticks around and severely impacts everyday functioning. A depression diagnosis requires the presence of at least five symptoms of depression every day for at least two weeks. Common symptoms include:

  • Persistent feelings of sadness, anxiety, or emptiness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in pastimes or activities
  • Fatigue or reduced energy
  • Trouble with sleeping, waking up early, or sleeping too much
  • Shifts in appetite or unintentional weight gain
  • Aches and pains
  • Digestive problems
  • Suicidal thoughts

Living with epilepsy can lead to disruptions in quality of life, which can lead to any one of these symptoms. If they linger, reach out to a doctor or mental health professional, such as one trained in psychiatry. It’s common to have depression or another mood disorder, such as anxiety, when living with epilepsy, and it’s OK to ask for help.

Risk Factors for Depression and Epilepsy

Research on the connection between epilepsy and depression as a comorbidity, or co-occurring condition, is ongoing. There is evidence to show a relationship between the conditions, but the risk of developing one from the other is not always clear.

One common risk factor between epilepsy and depression may involve genetics. However, the association between genes and epilepsy is complex, and researchers say genetic testing may not be sufficient to show a certain genetic predisposition. The jury is still out as to whether depression and epilepsy share a genetic component.

Learn more about genetics and epilepsy.

Does Epilepsy Cause Depression?

There is evidence to show that epilepsy connects to depression through both psychological and neurological pathways.

FDA Advisors Endorse Moving Naloxone Over the Counter

by Michael DePeau-Wilson: For Complete Post, Click Here…

“A very important step from a public health perspective,” says panelist.

Advisors to the FDA unanimously recommended the agency approve the first over-the-counter (OTC) naloxone (Narcan) product, though many committee members expressed continued concern about user instructions for the opioid overdose reversal drug.

By a vote of 19-0 on Wednesday, members of both the Nonprescription Drug Advisory Committee and Anesthetic and Analgesic Drug Products Advisory Committee said the impressive safety and risk-benefit profile support approval of the nonprescription naloxone spray, which would allow for an unprecedented expansion of access.