Iowa Congressman Reply to Letter on Parity for Mental Health Coverage

I realize many of you have probably already received a mass form letter from your congressman about the parity act, but I just wanted to share with you the letter I got from my congressman about the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, which was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bush in 2008. My recent post about this was Announcement: Sign on to Mental Health Parity Letter! – The Practical Psychosomaticist.

October 16, 2012

Dear Dr. Amos,

Thank you for contacting me about mental health coverage. I’m honored to represent you.  Your opinion is very important to me and my priority is to provide Iowa’s Second District with the best representation possible.

As you may know, mental health is an issue of personal importance to me, as my mother struggled with mental health problems.  I’ve experienced firsthand the necessity of timely and proper care for those struggling with mental health issues.

The Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act was passed by Congress with my support and signed into law by President Bush in 2008.  This bill requires health insurance companies to cover both mental and physical health equally by prohibiting plans from limiting mental health benefits.  As you may know, a final rule has not been issued on the implementation of this law.

You will be pleased to hear that because of my concern that patients seeking mental health treatment are continuing to face access problems due to the lack of a final rule, I partnered with a group of bipartisan Representatives to urge the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Labor, and the Treasury to issue a final rule so the law may be fully implemented.  Please rest assured I will keep your thoughts in mind as this process moves forward.

Thank you again for contacting me about this important issue.  My office is here to assist you with any and all concerns you have, so please do not hesitate to contact me whenever you feel that I can be of assistance.  I encourage you to visit my website at and sign up for my e-newsletters to stay informed of the work I’m doing for you.  I am proud to serve the Second District, and I am committed to working hard for Iowans.

Dave Loebsack
Iowa’s Second District


Announcement: Virtue Medicine, P.C. in Iowa Offering Free Event: Sound Healing Circle

Virtue Medicine, P.C., Virtue Medicine is offering a free event called Sound Healing Circle coming Thursday, November 1, 2012 from 6:30 to 8:00 PM.  I just found out about this today and the announcement from Virtue Medicine is:

Sound may well have been one of humanity’s most ancient healers, with the use of sacred song and sacred instruments playing a key role in healing traditions the world over.

This event will be a facilitated excursion into the healing power of sound.  You will be welcomed to use your own voice and other instruments to alter conscious experience, enter into meditative awareness, and open to spontaneous healing from within and without.  Gongs, bowls, rattles, flutes, didjeridu, and drums are welcome, or just bring yourself and sit with us, listening, experiencing the music. No prior experience is necessary. 


To help planning, call and reserve your spot if you are able, but drop-ins are welcome.


Call: 338-5190  

A free will donation will be invited for studio costs.

The didjeridu is a wind instrument developed by indigenous Australians of Northern Australia around 1500 years ago and is still in widespread use there and around the world.  It’s rather like a wooden trumpet.

You get the idea.

Tipping Point for Integrated Care?

This item turned up in my e-mail inbox recently on integrated care, PsychiatryOnline | Psychiatric News | News Article Psychiatrists add value to integrated care, Roger Kathol, MD. There was also another very interesting piece about a psychiatrist who advocates for integrated care. Dr. Lori Raney, MD, of Dolores, Colorado, working closely with a social worker and a psychologist, offers support and consultation to primary care clinicians at a federally qualified health center in southwest Colorado. And not only that, Dr. Raney offers integrated care from the opposite direction,  offering screening for cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, as well as for psychiatric illness at the Cortez Integrated Health Center. According to Dr. Raney, it make her feel more “well-rounded” as a physician.

In fact, it remnded me of what we’re doing here at The University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics, Hmmmm…and Just What is CoMeBeh at The University of Iowa? – The Practical Psychosomaticist. It further inspires me about what further efforts we could make at our newly opened clinic, the Iowa River Landing, Top-Level Integrated Care at Iowa River Landing? – The Practical Psychosomaticist.

Maybe some of you out there have tipping point stories about advancing the cause for integrated care?

Champions of Integrated Health Care from Diverse Backgrounds

A recent announcement about the appointment of Paolo del Vecchio, M.S.W. as director of the federal Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) in July 2012 made me think about the roots of leaders. They come from many places and their drive and passion often enough have their source in their triumph over adversity, PsychiatryOnline | Psychiatric News | News Article, Paolo del Vecchio, director of federal Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS).

The champions supporting the need for integrating medical and mental health care and preventing the roadblocks created by complex, comorbid psychiatric and medical disorders on the path to wellness and recovery arise from diverse backgrounds. It may be more than simply ironic that the courage of such heroes can spring from the very places we least expect.

Women in Psychiatry: Dr. Gail E. Robinson, M.D.

I saw this item in Psychiatric News Update, Psychiatric News Update/From the Experts. I was just going to put up a quote on the Quote Corner on Dr. Gail E. Robinson, MD, but the excerpt was too interesting to pass up from the book Women in Psychiatry: Personal Perspectives, Women in Psychiatry (978-1-58562-408-9).

Dr. Robinson says a lot of wise things that are broadly applicable not just to women, but to all doctors.

Award-Winning Docs at The University of Iowa


Physicians Honored at The University of Iowa

Time out to brag about physician leaders at The University of Iowa Health Care, the University of Iowa Physicians (UIP) Award winners for 2012. Thinking of making a move? Think about Iowa.

Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine Newsletter for Residents and Fellows in Psychiatry

Here’s an announcement about something new from the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine (APM) I just learned about. It’s a newsletter from APM called “Frontiers in Psychosomatic Medicine”, see link Frontiers in Psychosomatic Medicine: Summer, 2012. It’s designed to let psychiatry residents and fellows in on what Psychosomatic Medicine is as a specialty. According to APM. “The newsletter is emailed to all residency program directors (if you did not receive this, please ask your program director to forward it to residents in your program or provide a list server address to” To subscribe, scroll down to the bottom of the newsletter and enter your e-mail address. Check it out!