Health Care

A “Herd Immunity” Strategy To Combat COVID-19 Could Be A Disaster For Older Adults

President Trump’s newest White House pandemic adviser, Scott Atlas, reportedly is advocating for the strategy of building “herd immunity” to stop the spread of coronavirus. Atlas, who is a neuroradiologist and fellow at the Hoover Institution, would allow the virus to spread as widely and quickly as possible to build immunity in the overall population. Think of it as the [...]

By |2020-09-03T10:59:50-04:00September 3rd, 2020|Health Care, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Are There Alternatives To Hospital Care For COVID-19 Patients?   

The coronavirus pandemic is stressing hospital capacity to its limits, and one way to reduce this pressure it to move patient care downstream. That means keeping as many patients as possible out of the hospital in the first place, and getting those who have been hospitalized discharged as quickly as possible to make room for other, more critical patients. The [...]

By |2020-03-23T12:03:38-04:00March 23rd, 2020|Health Care|0 Comments

Psychedelics and Seniors: Can Drugs Such As Marijuana and Psilocybin Improve Their Quality of Life?

OK, let’s get past all the jokes about aging Baby Boomers revisiting their youth and getting stoned.  As the medical and recreational use of marijuana grows across the country, older adults are increasingly either smoking cannabis or taking it in the form of cannabidiol (CBD).  Yet we know remarkably little about how CBD or its close relative  tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) affects [...]

By |2019-09-18T12:40:55-04:00September 18th, 2019|Health Care|0 Comments

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 |2019-02-13T15:43:53-05:00February 13th, 2019|Health Care|1 Comment

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|2 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 |2018-02-14T12:43:53-05:00December 6th, 2017|Health Care|0 Comments