Practice Tools and Tips


ICD-10: What You Need to Know

On October 1, 2015, you had to start using ICD-10 codes for reporting diagnoses in order to get paid by insurance companies. But what does ICD-10 mean, how does it relate to DSM-5, and what does a practicing clinician need to know about it?

Before You Write That Prescription: Guidelines for Ordering Lab Tests

Mental health clinicians often ask for a single, black-and-white answer to the question: Which lab tests should I order before starting this particular medication? Inevitably, the answer is that it depends. Here are some guidelines that are useful.

Are Skype, FaceTime, and Google Hangouts HIPAA Compliant?

Applying HIPAA to telemedicine has proven to be pretty tricky. A decade ago, most of us believed that the only way to ensure secure videoconferencing was to pay for expensive “HIPAA-compliant” videoconferencing equipment. But things are changing.

Research Update

A New Treatment Program Effective for First-Episode Psychosis

Catching patients early in the course of their psychotic disorders may improve outcomes. A new NIMH-funded study compared a very comprehensive treatment program with treatment as usual, and the results were promising.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Treatment Resistant Depression

We have an abundance of medications to treat depression, but “treatment resistance” remains all too common. Accordingly, there has been a rise in the number of “augmentation” or “adjunctive” medications to address this population.

Expert QA

Pros and Cons of Adopting an Electronic Health Record

The biggest policy issue related to EHRs is the financial incentives offered by the government.

Free Article

The Vast Landscape of Services that is “Rehab” [Free Article]

If a patient comes in and says, “doc, I think I need to go to rehab,” what should you do? Most people think of rehabs as residential facilities, but these days, the term “rehab” includes a broad spectrum of treatment settings, most of which, in fact, are not residential—only 10% of people receiving specialized addiction services go to residential rehab. 

Foster Care and Child Psychiatry: A Primer [Free Article]

Nearly one in three foster children have significant psychiatric problems during their time in foster care—especially those related to trauma and neglect that brought them into the system. This article is a brief primer on how foster care works, and how psychiatrists get involved.

Telepsychiatry: What You Need to Know [Free Article]


The appeal of telemedicine is clear, especially for psychiatrists. We are in great demand, and there aren’t enough of us to meet the demand—especially in rural counties. Patients and doctors alike are increasingly realizing that telehealth can save them time and money. Here's the information you need to start practicing online.

Medication Strategies for Helping People with Autism Spectrum Disorders [Free Article]

Getting meds just right is challenging in autism. Sometimes we succeed, sometimes it doesn't work out so well. No two people with Autism Spectrum Disorder are alike, meaning that our medication choices have to be individualized even more so than in most other psychiatric syndromes.

Fisher Wallace and Alpha-Stim for Depression? Claims vs Evidence [Free Article]

Carly Simon swears by it. The daytime show “The Doctors” gave it a glowing review. Ads for it seem to be invading psychiatrists’ Google search results. We’re talking, of course, about the Fisher Wallace Stimulator and the similarly touted Alpha-Stim device. How do these devices work? Are they actually effective? And where do they fit into the rapidly expanding array of neuromodulators? 

The GeneSight Genetic Test: A Review of the Evidence [Free Article]

Assurex Health recently sent me an email inviting me to dine at Legal Seafood to learn about “Clinical Applications of Psychiatric Pharmacogenetics.” I didn’t go, but increasingly I am hearing from colleagues about their experiences at these dinner programs: “What do you think about this GeneSight test? The data looked pretty impressive at this dinner.” 

Which Electronic Health Record Should You Buy? A Review of Three Products

The Carlat Report - Electronic Medical Records

There are a lot of electronic health record (EHR—also called electronic medical record, or EMR) companies vying for your hard earned cash. How do you decide among them?