Is Your Community the Right Fit?

You like where you live. Your community is the perfect fit, you say. Yet will it be the right fit 10, 20, or 30 years from now? Will housing costs become an issue, and will you want different transportation options, closer access to your doctor, or perhaps a grocery store nearby? While it’s possible that your personal preferences may remain the same, priorities evolve through the years. At one time, school quality and proximity to work may have been your …

How HIPAA Can Maintain Privacy, Enable Exchange of Electronic Health Records and Improve Patient Care at the Same Time

Nearly all hospitals and three-fourths of all doctors have gone digital, replacing paper medical records with electronic ones. For consumers, this should have meant that complete and up-to-date medical files seamlessly flow between physicians and follow patients from one doctor to the next. In reality, many health care providers don’t exchange electronic health data, in part because they misinterpret the 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) privacy rules as saying that it’s illegal. Some may also be playing …

Stepping Up to Support Family Caregivers

  Family caregivers are doing more than ever to support their family members, neighbors and friends who have long-term or chronic health needs.  They shop, cook, drive and manage finances. They bathe, dress, toilet and feed. Most also do things they never even dreamed they would need to do — unless they went to nursing school. They give dozens of pills, eye drops, patches, suppositories, injections, even intravenous medications at home. They perform wound care and manage colostomies and tube …

Diabetes Prevention Program Shows Investing in Prevention Pays

Diabetes among older adults is associated with significant health and cost burdens. Nearly a quarter of individuals age 65 and older have been diagnosed with diabetes, and one of every three Medicare dollars is spent on beneficiaries living with the condition. An estimated one-half of the Medicare population is prediabetic, meaning their blood sugar levels are high but not high enough to warrant a diabetes diagnosis. To address this growing public health concern, in 2011 the Centers for Medicare & …

Too Many Lives Cut Short on Our Nation’s Roads

In 2009, a truck struck and killed Beverly Shelton’s grandson, Zachary, who was walking inside a marked crosswalk and accompanied by an adult. The driver had rolled through the stop sign rather than make a complete stop. Since the time of Zachary’s death, another 32,000-plus pedestrians have been killed in the United States. A pedestrian is killed every two hours and injured every eight minutes on our nation’s roads. Unfortunately, these tragedies are rising at a distressing rate. From 2009 …

The $92,378 Question: How High Can the Cost of Long-Term Services and Supports Go?

Alvin and Sharon lived in Chicago and were frugal people who worked hard all their lives. This fiscal dedication allowed them to live on their two monthly Social Security checks, his modest pension and some modest investments. Alvin and Sharon were able to pay their bills and enjoy simple luxuries — that is, until the out-of-pocket expenses of long-term care for Alvin began to drain what they worked a lifetime to save. In the process of searching for services and supports, …