Social Isolation: The Silent Killer that Costs Medicare Billions in Extra Spending

Last week the AARP Public Policy Institute (PPI) sponsored a Solutions Forum on Capitol Hill (view recording HERE)  that put the spotlight on groundbreaking research showing how much social isolation—lack of meaningful contacts with others—costs the Medicare program. In two separate panels, participants in the packed room heard from experts who discussed the global problem of social isolation—or lack of meaningful contacts with others—among older adults. Susan Reinhard, Senior Vice President at AARP kicked off the event with a compelling …

Seeding a Culture of Health by Spreading Innovative Ideas

Now that we’re going full throttle on the goals and leading-edge projects of 2018, I’m excited to share with you a few details concerning some important work that accelerated in 2017 and, as a result, promises to continue to bear fruit this year. AARP Public Policy Institute’s Culture of Health initiative is enabling the dissemination of some of the most innovative and usable ideas to foster good health practices in communities across the country. As part of our Culture of …

New FINRA Rules Provide Big Benefits in the Fight Against Financial Exploitation

The fight against the financial exploitation of older Americans is about to get a whole lot easier.   The 50+ are prime targets of financial exploitation because they own 67 percent of U.S. bank deposits – and because factors including health status, cognitive ability, and social isolation can make them more vulnerable. Beginning February 5, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) will enact a pair of rules that will provide brokers with additional tools to protect their older clients and …

Several employment indicators for those ages 55+ improve in January

  Employment Overview According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) January Employment Situation Summary, the unemployment rate for persons 55 and older decreased from 3.3 percent in December to 3.0 percent in January. The number of unemployed persons ages 55+ also decreased to 1.1 million, down from 1.2 million in December. The percentage of 55+ jobseekers considered long-term unemployed (those job searching for 27 weeks or more) declined from 30.6 percent in December to 24.8 percent in January. Overall …

The Slippery Slope of Declining Low-Value Medical Services

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. Procedures such as prostate cancer screening for men over 75, MRIs for low back pain, X-rays prior to low-risk surgeries are examples of services paid for by consumers and insurance companies that may be unnecessary, or worse, harmful. As a result, many providers and policymakers want to eliminate low-value medical care.1 However, …

New Year’s Resolution: Have Those Hard Conversations about Long-Term Care

The New Year offers us the opportunity to start anew. We make plans to hit the gym, sleep more, and eat healthier. We commit to spending more time with family and friends rather than merely clicking likes and posting comments on Facebook or sending emojis via text. We resolve to save more and stress less.  Many of us even create plans with specific strategies to increase the odds we’ll be successful in reaching our goals. Yet there are those areas of …