Category Archives: Healthcare

“COVID-19 Crisis Threatens Beleaguered Assisted Living Industry” – Kaiser News Network

Walking frame in the corridor, Germany

by Laura Ungar and Jay Hancock 

“David Aguirre jumped in his truck and drove toward the hospital in the predawn darkness the minute he got the news: His 91-year-old mom was being rushed from her Texas assisted living facility to the emergency room.

Estela Aguirre would be one of five residents to die and six others to be sickened by the novel coronavirus at The Waterford at College Station, part of a financially strapped chain of assisted living sites called Capital Senior Living.

“So he missed seeing her draw her last breath.”

“’My mom was a sweet, kind person. People really felt like they’d known her for 100 years. She was just that kind of soul,’ said Aguirre, who lost his mother on March 28. ‘Some days, I’ll sit down and have my heart cry.’

“Assisted living complexes, home to more than 800,000 people nationwide, have quickly become a new and dangerous theater in the coronavirus war.”

Read this story in its entirety at Kaiser Health News, click here.

“Passport” for individuals with developmental disabilities and families to use when seeking treatment for COVID19 symptoms.

The Ohio Association of County Boards of Developmental Disabilities created the attached form for individuals and families to use when seeking treatment for COVID19 symptoms. People can use this form to assist health care professionals with the care and treatment of patients with intellectual and developmental disabilities in these extreme circumstances.

COVID form ohio

Download the form as a .pdf file, click here or on the above graphic. OACB_ RCNP_Health_Passport_Hospital_Transfer_Form_PDF

Also included here is recommended language provided as guidance from HHS that rationing or denying accommodations during COVID19 treatment is a violation of civil rights. You can click here to print out legal guidance and give it to the hospital along with the “passport” form. Or add a page to the “passport” form that says something along the lines of:

This information is not a waiver of any civil rights for this patient under federal and state law including but not limited to the Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act which prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability in health programs or activities. For more information see “Civil Rights, HIPAA, and the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)” from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services at https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/ocr-bulletin-3-28-20.pdf and “Applying HHS’s Guidance for States and Health Care Providers on Avoiding Disability-Based Discrimination in Treatment Rationing” at  https://www.centerforpublicrep.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Guidance-to-States-Hospitals_FINAL.pdf.”

 

“Pandemic exposes low pay and scant protections for nursing assistants and home-care aides” – The Los Angeles Times

home care aides“Personal care assistant Maria Colville leaves home for her job caring for an elderly woman in Watertown, Mass. – (Lane Turner / The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

by Rowan Moore Garety

“When she heard friends working at Lowe’s were in line for $300 hazard-pay bonuses, Allanah Smit wondered why her employer, Memorial Hospital in Gulfport, Miss., had no such plans. ‘Healthcare workers deserve hazard pay too,” she declared on Twitter. “Yes, we chose this profession, but we didn’t sign up to fight a global pandemic with ONE N-95 respirator and improper PPE.’

“As a certified nursing assistant, Smit makes just over $14 an hour to bathe, feed, and reposition patients recovering from car accidents, strokes, and major surgeries like hip replacements. When elective surgeries were suspended last week as the coronavirus spread from hot spots such as New Orleans, Smit began caring for patients with symptoms of COVID-19.

“As the healthcare system braces for the full impact of the pandemic, the shortage of doctors and nurses in epicenters like New York has gotten massive attention.

“Less scrutiny has been paid to home health aides, personal care aides and certified nursing assistants — ”

Continue reading this article at The Los Angeles Times.

Looking for reliable information about coronavirus? | Look to reliable sources.

hospial logos

Looking for local information about coronvirus?

Each of the Link to Aging and Disability Resources Service Area 13’s hospital systems have helpful information at their Websites. Service Area 13 includes Berks, Lancaster and Lebanon Counties.

PennMedicine | Lancaster General Health

UPMC 

Penn State

Tower Health

WellSpan



BE SURE TO GET YOUR INFORMATION FROM RELIABLE SOURCES!



Pennsylvania Department of Health 

Centers for Disease Conrol and Prevention

World Health Organization Dashboard

“Surviving a Pandemic, in 1918” – JSTOR Daily

“A century ago, Catholic nuns from Philadelphia recalled what it was like to tend to the needy and the sick during the great influenza pandemic of 1918.”

1918 pandemic nurses“Walter Reed Hospital, Washington, D.C., during the great Influenza Pandemic of 1918 – 1919.” via Wikimedia Commons

by Allison C. Meier

“For all the devastation of pandemics, there is a historic forgetfulness around them. They are not events that get grand public memorials, and their tolls tend to be remembered individually, rather than collectively, by those who experienced loss.

“It was this scarcity of historical on-the-ground experiences that the Rev. Francis E. Tourscher was thinking of in 1919, when he compiled first-hand accounts from nuns who had worked as nurses during the influenza outbreak that had just ravaged Philadelphia. Their stories filled over a hundred pages, published in installments in the Records of the American Catholic Historical Society of Philadelphia in March, June, and September. In an introduction, Tourscher wrote that it was important to ‘assemble facts while they are still a living memory’:

“Facts unrecorded are quickly lost in the new interests of changing time. Incidents of personal experience, even the most touching and pathetic, pass away generally with the memory of those immediately concerned. We have little left now, beyond mere material statistics, and vague impressions drawn from “paper accounts” of the epidemic of cholera which visited Philadelphia in 1832. We know probably as much of the ‘Black Death’ of 1348 in Europe or of the ‘Sweating Sickness’ of 1529 in England as we do of the ‘Yellow Fever’ which raged in our cities of the South, and threatened the North, in 1849 and again in 1854.

“Philadelphia was the hardest-hit American city in the 1918 flu pandemic,”

Continue reading this article at JSTOR Daily. click here.

 

In Bernville: “Coronavirus: One case lays bare America’s testing failure” – BBC

“‘Trace, test and treat’ has been the mantra of global health bodies in tackling the spread of Covid-19. But innumerable cases around the country show it is a model the United States has failed to recreate.”

covid trace-test-treat Bernville“Claudia Bahorik – who is 69 and lives in Bernville, Pennsylvania – does not say this lightly. As a retired physician herself, she has done her research.”

by Aleem Maqbool

“”I’m still sick, it hasn’t improved. I’m coughing, I’ve been feverish and my left lung hurts. There have been times the wheezing and the gurgling in my chest have been so bad at night that it’s woken me up. There’s no doubt I have all the symptoms.”

“Claudia Bahorik – who is 69 and lives in Bernville, Pennsylvania – does not say this lightly. As a retired physician herself, she has done her research.

“But this is the story of Dr Bahorik’s determined, though so far unsuccessful plight – involving clinics, hospitals and even a senator’s office – to find out if she has the coronavirus.

“It all started as far back as the last week of February. Dr Bahorik had recently been on a trip to New York with her great niece, and soon after developed a cough and a fever, though it appeared to subside.”

Read this article in its entirety at the BBC Website, click here.

 

“Election 2020: The State(s) of Health Care Snapshots” – Kaiser Family Foundation

healthcare snapshots

Health care is a top issue for voters in the 2020 election. Polling indicates voter concerns range from the high cost of health coverage and prescription drugs, to protections for people with pre-existing conditions, to women’s health issues.

To understand the health care landscape in which the 2020 election policy debates will unfold, these state health care snapshots provide data across a variety of health policy subjects, including health care costs, health coverage—Medicaid, Medicare, private insurance—and the uninsured, women’s health, health status, and access to care. They also describe each state’s political environment.

Population and Income

  • Pennsylvania was the 6th largest state, with a population of 12,388,100 in 2018.
  • 27.8% of Pennsylvania residents had incomes below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) in 2018, which was smaller than the US share (30.4%).
  • 96.7% of Pennsylvania residents were US citizens in 2018, higher than the US overall (93.2%).

Click here to see more “fact sheets” and metrics.

“Op-Ed: Think you want to die at home? You might want to think twice about that” – The Los Angeles Times

hospice

by Nathan Gray

“Gray is an assistant professor of medicine and palliative care at Duke University School of Medicine and an artist who draws comics on medical topics.” And this is an interesting way to get information on the subject of end of life care.

Click here to see more.

“You can go from an upstanding middle-class American citizen to completely under the eight ball.” | “Patients Stuck With Bills After Insurers Don’t Pay As Promised” – Kaiser Health News

Markley Prior Authorization“Darla Markley and her husband, Andy Markley, of Winter Park, Florida, tried to pay off their medical bills following tests Darla had done at the Mayo Clinic in 2010. Even after Mayo wrote off some of what they owed, her disability and Social Security checks barely covered her insurance premiums. Five years after her initial hospitalization, they had no choice but to declare bankruptcy.” (Zack Wittman for KHN)

by Lauren Weber

“The more than $34,000 in medical bills that contributed to Darla and Andy Markley’s bankruptcy and loss of their home in Beloit, Wisconsin, grew out of what felt like a broken promise.

“Darla Markley, 53, said her insurer had sent her a letter preapproving her to have a battery of tests at the Mayo Clinic in neighboring Minnesota after she came down with transverse myelitis, a rare, paralyzing illness that had kept her hospitalized for over a month. But after the tests found she also had beriberi, a vitamin deficiency, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield judged that the tests weren’t needed after all and refused to pay — although Markley said she and Mayo had gotten approval.

“While Darla learned to walk again, the Markleys tried to pay off the bills. Even after Mayo wrote off some of what they owed, her disability and Social Security checks barely covered her insurance premiums. By 2014, five years after her initial hospitalization, they had no choice but to declare bankruptcy.”

Read this article at Kaiser Health News in its entirety, click here.

“Visualizing Health Policy: US Statistics on Surprise Medical Billing” – Kaiser Family Foundation

SURPRISE MEDICAL BILLING

by Karen Pollitz, MPPLunna Lopes, MAAudrey Kearney, MAet al

This Visualizing Health Policy infographic examines unexpected and ‘surprise’ medical bills in the United States. Out-of-network charges typically expose patients to higher cost-sharing when they use services and may lead to balance billing—in which health care providers bill patients directly, often at an unexpectedly higher rate. In the past 2 years, 1 in 5 insured adults had an unexpected medical bill from an out-of-network provider.

Overall, two-thirds of adults are worried about affording unexpected medical bills for themselves and their family. In emergency departments across the country, 18% of visits result in at least 1 surprise bill, but rates vary by state. Politically, majorities of Democrats and Republicans support government action to protect patients against these surprise bills. – kff.org