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Legislation expands mental health coverage for veterans

A bill recently passed by Congress and signed by President Trump is making telemedicine available to veterans for mental health care.
A bill recently passed by Congress and signed by President Trump is making telemedicine available to veterans for mental health care.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – A bill recently passed by Congress and signed by President Trump is making telemedicine available to veterans for mental health care.

Psychiatrist Dr. Arthur Bregman said the option for telemedicine visits is vital for providing prompt and accessilbe crisis intervention.

“The major difference is the veterans really didn’t have access to tele-psychiatry before. It left them going to offices, going to the VA hospitals and the veterans of all the groups have the highest suicide rate in the country,” he said.

Bregman said the availability of immediate mental health support through telemedicine is expected to save countless lives.

And a study has found that 1/3 or older adults may be prescribed drugs that are inappropriate, putting their health at risk.

Researchers found that as people age, they become more likely to experience adverse effects from taking certain medications.

Their findings showed that older adults who received drugs were more likely to be hospitalized than those wo did not and were more likely to wind up in the emergency room.

The study authors concluded that there continues to be a need for more targeted intervention to prevent the prescribing of potentially harmful medications among the elderly.


About the Authors:

Veteran journalist Kathleen Corso is the special projects producer for Local 10 News.

Kristi Krueger has built a solid reputation as an award-winning medical reporter and effervescent anchor. She joined Local 10 in August 1993. After many years co-anchoring the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., Kristi now co-anchors the noon newscasts, giving her more time in the evening with her family.