We Need More Nurses to Provide Primary Care

A recent survey of doctors and nurses has put the spotlight on a topic that is becoming more important every day — the shortage of primary care providers and the role for nurses in fixing it. According to an article in the New England Journal of Medicine, the doctors and nurses broadly agreed that, “Nurse practitioners should be able to practice to the full extent of their education and training.” Unfortunately, they held very different views on just what that …

Improving Care, Reducing Costs in Medicare

As a self-proclaimed sci-fi geek, I can’t help but begin this blog with a quote from one of my favorite writers: “The only constant is change, continuing change, inevitable change. That is the dominant factor in society today,” wrote author Isaac Asimov, “No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be.” That was indeed the central message of last week’s AARP Solution Forum …

4 States That Snubbed Health Law Gaining Jobs From It

By Phil Galewitz, Senior Correspondent, Kaiser Health News Four states that have snubbed the federal health law by defaulting to the federal government to build new online insurance marketplaces and not agreeing to expand Medicaid are getting new jobs at call centers that will help consumers understand their new coverage options this fall. Up to 9,000 jobs are expected to be created at call centers to support the new federally run marketplaces. A Department of Health and Human Services spokeswoman said some of them …

Troubled Boy: What if He Were Your Grandson?

A heartfelt, searing blog post by a 40-year-old mother about her mentally ill son has made many parents and grandparents wonder how they would handle a child with frighteningly violent outbursts. Idaho mother Liza Long, who writes The Anarchist Soccer Mom blog, published her painfully honest post about her 13-year-old son soon after the horrific shooting of schoolchildren by Adam Lanza at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Her post – with the provocative phrase “I am Adam Lanza’s …

Latinos as Natural Caregivers

My mom is my hero. She has always been a happy and independent person, but now, as she faces new health challenges that are rapidly changing, and I can only imagine how much she is suffering. My dad is her primary caretaker; my brothers and I are helping as much as we can. For us, as Latinos, it is our duty to take care of our loved ones, and often this sense of responsibility leads us to do everything on …

The Takeaway: Health-Care Costs Rise Faster Than U.S. Inflation Rate

Higher charges by doctors, hospitals and drug companies have resulted in healthcare costs that have risen even faster than the rate of inflation, according to a survey released today by the Health Care Cost Institute, a nonprofit research organization in Washington DC. The study found that health care costs rose 3.3 percent in 2010 even though people actually used fewer services in many categories.  The average price of prescription drugs rose 3 percent; inpatient admissions cost 5.1 percent;  more and …