7 Ways to Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally

Two new studies suggest that people with high blood pressure may do an even better job than their doctors at lowering it, especially if insurance would pay for a good blood-pressure monitoring kit to use at home. One study, published Aug. 27 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that older patients in England who monitored their own blood pressure at home and adjusted their medication as needed had lower blood pressure levels after a year than those who …

Pay Less for Your Prescription Drugs

By Nicole Duritz The dog days of August are the most likely time for Medicare Part D participants to fall into the “doughnut hole” and see their prescription costs rise. With AARP resources, you can see if you’re at risk of falling in, and find options for lowering your drug costs. The Doughnut Hole Each year, 19 percent of Medicare Part D beneficiaries fall into the “doughnut hole.” Once the amount of money you and your insurance company pay for …

Head of Connecticut Health Exchange to Lead Healthcare.gov

By Jeff Cohen, WNPR, and Diane Webber, Kaiser Health News This story is part of a partnership that includes WNPR, NPR and Kaiser Health News. Kevin Counihan, the head of Connecticut’s health insurance marketplace, will be the new CEO of healthcare.gov, the website that 36 states use to sell insurance under the Affordable Care Act, the administration announced Tuesday. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Burwell tapped Counihan to lead the site as part of a revamped …

House Calls for Frail Medicare Patients Bring Savings

By Lauran Neergaard, AP Medical Writer WASHINGTON (AP) – Ten or 12 times a year, Beatrice Adams’ daughter would race her frail mother to the emergency room for high blood pressure or pain from a list of chronic illnesses. Then Adams found a doctor who makes house calls, and the 89-year-old hasn’t needed ER care in the nearly two years since. “I’m not a wimpy female,” Adams said as Eric De Jonge, M.D.,  wheeled his medical bag into her dining …

‘Jaw-Dropping’ Drop in Hospitalizations, Deaths From Heart Disease

A new study of 34 million Medicare patients has found what one prominent heart researcher calls “jaw-dropping” reductions in hospitalizations and deaths from heart attacks and strokes over the past decade. According to the findings published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation, the number of patients age 65-plus who were hospitalized with heart attacks dropped nearly 40 percent from 1999 to 2011, while those hospitalized with strokes caused by blood clots  fell by 34 percent. >> Top 15 Superfoods for …

Windows Help Workers Improve Their Health

Windows – and the light they let in – make us healthier. That’s the basic finding of two new studies, including one that found that employees who worked near windows during the day slept longer at night, got more exercise and had better quality of life than their colleagues toiling away in rooms without windows. A second study found that nurses whose workstations had natural light had lower blood pressure, communicated more with their colleagues, laughed more and were in …