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Elizabeth A. Carter

Elizabeth A. Carter is a senior health services research advisor at the AARP Public Policy Institute and an OptumLabs visiting fellow. Her research focuses on health and policy issues affecting older adults, from the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases and their complications, to health care quality and cost. Read her full biography.
Caring male doctor touching shoulder of female patient in examination room
Older adults who get a Medicare Annual Wellness Visit are more than four times as likely to be screened for depression as those who opt out of this free health benefit.
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Many eligible Medicare enrollees do not take advantage of their annual wellness visit benefit, or even understand what it is.
The Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program helps older adults with prediabetes make the required lifestyle changes to prevent diabetes, but there are currently few providers available to meet the growing need for the program.
One quarter of Medicare Advantage enrollees used the annual wellness visit benefit in 2015—42% higher than the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services estimate for annual wellness visits in the traditional Medicare population.
PPI Dementia Drug Report Quote Graphic
Dementia is an increasingly prevalent condition that millions of families must deal with every day. It can be taxing—emotionally, physically, and financially—for all involved, and people are understandably looking for help wherever they can find it. However, there could be a big disconnect between how health care providers prescribe drugs used to treat the condition and what is supported by clinical evidence, a new AARP Public Policy Institute report finds.
Providers continue to prescribe potentially harmful antipsychotic (AP) medications to older adults with dementia, putting them at increased risk of adverse health events such as stroke and death
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While hundreds of “low-value” medical services are driving up health care costs, eliminating these services altogether could hurt some patients by denying them access to potentially appropriate care.
Exam Paperwork
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), an independent national panel of medical experts, this week released a draft revised guideline on screening for prostate cancer with the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. The revised guideline reverses its 2012 recommendation discouraging PSA screening among men of all races and ages. Instead, USPSTF now encourages men ages 55 to 69 to discuss the test with their physicians and decide for themselves if they want to undergo PSA screening. The draft guideline also recommends against PSA screening in men 70 and older.
Doctor In Surgery With Male Patient Reading Notes
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer (next to skin cancer) and the second leading cause of death from cancer among men in the U.S. Due to the high risk of side effects associated with prostate cancer treatments, such as erectile dysfunction, urinary incontinence and fecal incontinence, physicians and consumers want to know they are choosing the best evidence-based treatment. Unfortunately, there is currently no scientific consensus to guide them.
A recent study linked some popular drugs used to treat heartburn and peptic ulcers to an increased risk of dementia.  While the study findings are concerning, consumers should be mindful that media reports do not necessarily present the full picture. Here is a breakdown of what the study actually shows:
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