by Jay Baruch
“Two medics roll Mrs. M into the emergency department. Sweat drips from her forehead. Her chest heaves in and out as she tries to suck every last oxygen molecule from inside the oxygen mask. I introduce myself and she opens her eyes but her glassy stare lands beyond me. “She has metastatic breast cancer,” says one of the medics. ‘She’s in hospice. But her son wants everything done.’
“‘Doing everything isn’t a plan that’s compatible with hospice,’ I mutter.
“‘We didn’t know what to do,’ says the medic, shaking his head. ‘She wasn’t this bad when we arrived at her home. She was working to breathe, but not like this.’”
Read this STAT article in its entirety, click here.
There’s a fiction at the heart of the debate over entitlements: The carefully cultivated impression that beneficiaries are simply receiving back their ‘own’ money.”
by Eric Schnurer
“One day in 1984, Kurt Vonnegut called.
“I was ditching my law school classes to work on the presidential campaign of Walter Mondale, the Democratic candidate against Ronald Reagan, when one of those formerly-ubiquitous pink telephone messages was delivered to me saying that Vonnegut had called, asking to speak to one of Mondale’s speechwriters.
“All sorts of people called to talk to the speechwriters with all sorts of whacky suggestions; this certainly had to be the most interesting. I stared at the 212 phone number on the pink slip, picked up a phone, and dialed.
“A voice, so gravelly and deep that it seemed to lie at the outer edge of the human auditory range, rasped, ‘Hello.’ I introduced myself. There was a short pause, as if Vonnegut were fixing his gaze on me from the other end of the line, then he spoke.
“It’s the grandparents stealing from the grandchildren.”
Click here to continue reading this provocative and controversial opinion piece at The Atlantic.
by Casey Ross
“A closely watched experiment in health care has unfolded over the last few years: Financial incentives for hospitals to reduce readmissions. It was a feature of the Affordable Care Act, and researchers are now assessing its impacts. But even as data have arrived, an impassioned argument has broken out among experts — looking at the same numbers, they have reached different conclusions about whether the policy is making Americans healthier.
“And, underscoring that disagreement is a deeper one — about what kind of evidence is needed before a health policy is enacted on a national scale.
“The policy, known as the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program, created financial penalties for hospitals whose readmissions exceed the national average for patients suffering from heart failure, heart attacks, and pneumonia.”
Keep reading this STAT article, click here.
The Department of Human Services (DHS) is committed to increasing opportunities for older Pennsylvanians and individuals with physical disabilities to remain in their homes. If you’re 21 or older and have both Medicare and Medicaid, or receive long-term supports through Medicaid because you need help with everyday personal tasks, you’ll be covered by Community HealthChoices.
Community HealthChoices will coordinate your health care coverage to improve the quality of your health care experience — serving more people in communities rather than in facilities, giving them the opportunity to work, spend more time with their families, and experience an overall better quality of life.
To download the above graphic as a .pdf format for sharing / printing / enlarging, click on the graphic or here.
“After 72 very nearsighted years, 55 of them spent wearing Coke-bottle glasses, Jane Quinn of Brooklyn, N.Y., is thrilled with how well she can see since having her cataracts removed last year.
by Jane E. Brody
“‘It’s very liberating to be able to see without glasses,’ Ms. Quinn told me. ‘My vision is terrific. I can even drive at night. I can’t wait to go snorkeling.’
“And I was thrilled to be able to tell her that the surgery very likely did more than improve her poor vision. According to the results of a huge new study, it may also prolong her life.
“The 20-year study, conducted among 74,044 women aged 65 and older, all of whom had cataracts, found a 60 percent lower risk of death among the 41,735 women who had their cataracts removed.” – Continue reading this New York Times article, click here.
“A drone offers a detailed aerial view of the construction site at Frederick Living, a senior-living community in Montgomery County. Senior-living communities continue to expand across the commonwealth to meet growing demands from an aging population. – (Photo / File)”
by Jason Scott
“Pennsylvania is a slow growth state with the exception of residents who are 65 or older.
“The senior citizen population in the commonwealth grew by 13.5 percent from 2010 to 2016, according to a recent research report from the Pennsylvania State Data Center, which analyzes data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania’s total population rose just 0.6 percent over that span.
“There are now 2.2 million people age 65 or older in Pennsylvania, according to the center. That represents 17.4 percent of the total population in Pennsylvania, up from 15.4 percent in 2010.”
Continue reading this article at Central Penn Business Journal.
The Pennsylvania State Data Center has this information that shows the population age demographics by county here: “State & County Population Estimates, 2010 to 2016″