Health Care

Drugs Are Keeping Seniors Healthy, And Hurting Them

We are living in the age of prescription drugs. They can turn once-fatal diseases into manageable, chronic conditions. But especially for older adults, many of whom take five or more medications each day, they can cause illness or even death. A new study by Judith Garber and Shannon Brownlee of the Lown Institute, estimate that as many as 10 million [...]

By |2019-04-08T12:57:41-04:00April 8th, 2019|Health Care|0 Comments

The Cost Of Seniors’ Health Care May Be Moderating But The Need For Long-Term Care May Be Growing

The pace of medical spending for older adults is slowing, and one highly-respected health economist gives much of the credit to the increased use of medications that reduce the risk of heart disease. That is good news, but it largely ignores the growing costs of long-term care and the increasing burden on family caregivers, whose assistance is not included in [...]

By |2019-02-13T15:43:53-04:00February 13th, 2019|Health Care|0 Comments

How Medicare Wastes $4.6 Billion a Year On Long-Term Care Hospitals

Mom falls and breaks her hip. Her injury is repaired at the local acute care hospital but she needs intensive rehab and post-surgical care. She could be sent home or to a skilled nursing facility (SNF) but instead she is discharged to a long-term care hospital (LTCH)—a facility that specializes in intensive post-acute services. But a new study, published by [...]

By |2018-08-29T15:52:45-04:00August 29th, 2018|Health Care|0 Comments

Confronting Hearing Loss As We Age

In recent weeks, I’ve had no fewer than a half-dozen conversations with friends about a difficult—and often embarrassing--issue. No, it isn’t sexual dysfunction, incontinence, or money problems. It is hearing loss. One of every three Americans aged 64-75 has lost some hearing. Half of those 75 and older have trouble hearing.  The longer we live, the more we are going [...]

By |2018-08-01T09:52:53-04:00August 1st, 2018|Health Care|0 Comments

The Trump Administration’s Squeeze on Affordable Health Insurance For 50-64 Year-Olds

In a series of recent decisions, the Trump Administration is taking steps that will sharply raise insurance premiums for people aged 50-64, just before they become eligible for Medicare. While these steps are likely to make coverage less expensive for young, healthy consumers, they will inevitably raise costs for middle-aged people with chronic conditions. For many, insurance will become unaffordable. [...]

By |2018-06-20T21:51:34-04:00June 21st, 2018|Health Care|0 Comments

When It Comes To Helping Patients Find Social Supports, Docs Say, “Not My Job.”

A doctor diagnoses your mother with heart disease. She can no longer drive and you know she needs help with transportation to her medical appointments. You ask for advice---and get a blank stare. Or you are dismissed. A growing body evidence shows that social supports may improve the overall well-being of people with medical conditions, especially chronic illness (here and [...]

By |2018-05-21T13:35:19-04:00May 21st, 2018|Health Care|0 Comments

Health Care Measures Everything, Except What Really Matters To Seniors

As board chair of a community hospital, I am often confronted with the dozens of quality and safety measures that state and federal regulators use to score and pay us, and private organizations use to rate us. And as someone who works to improve the quality of care for older adults, I am struck by how much all these measures [...]

By |2018-02-14T12:43:53-04:00December 6th, 2017|Health Care|0 Comments

An Easy Way To Reduce Health Costs…And Patient Stress

Health experts often focus on the needs of a relatively small number of people who are the heaviest users of medical treatment. You know: that five percent of Medicare beneficiaries who account for half the program’s costs. But a new study published in the October volume of the journal Health Affairs (paywall) looks at another cost-driver in our health care [...]

By |2018-02-14T12:43:53-04:00November 22nd, 2017|Health Care|0 Comments

Two Proposed Tax Changes That Will Hurt Frail Older Adults

Two of the many major changes House Republicans would make to the federal tax code could make it harder for fail older adults, younger people with disabilities, and their families to receive badly-needed services. Repeal of the medical expense deduction would severely hurt those who face major uninsured expenses for medical treatment or long-term supports and services, including care at [...]

By |2018-02-14T12:43:53-04:00November 6th, 2017|Health Care|2 Comments

Despite Medicare, Seniors Will Pay More For Medical Care In Coming Years

Medicare is a critical lifeline for older adults who need health care as they age. But a new study shows that over the next two decades, out-of-pocket medical costs for older adults are likely to rise significantly, even with access to Medicare. By 2035, a typical senior will spend one out of every seven dollars of retirement income on medical [...]

By |2017-03-30T09:42:15-04:00March 30th, 2017|Health Care, Medicare|0 Comments