“‘How long do I have?’ A website on cancer survival rates, from the co-founder of GoodRx, seeks to provide clarity” – STATNews
by Elizabeth Cooney
“Talking about cancer is hard. Talking about your chances of surviving cancer is even harder.
“Now one of the entrepreneurs behind the drug-pricing information site GoodRx wants to make conversations about cancer easier with a new site called CancerSurvivalRates.com. Launched this month, its mission is to make information about cancer prognoses more accessible to patients and families. The idea is to improve on what people can find on the internet or even sometimes in their doctors’ offices, co-founder and drug supply chain veteran Stephen Buck said.
“Oncologists may be leery of their patients’ relying on the web for cancer survival rates or estimates of how long a patient might live, particularly given how many factors come into play for any individual. But Buck, along with oncologists and other experts who have served as advisers on the project, say such information can be the basis for a deeper discussion with clinicians about what the future might hold.”
Healthcare can be a great career path for individuals with disabilities as they can provide valuable perspectives and experiences that directly benefit patients. However, they also face many unique challenges in school and later as professionals, and it can be difficult to know where to turn for quality information.
To help, EduMed produced a comprehensive guidebook that addresses these challenges, gives students career recommendations that accommodate their disabilities, helps explain their rights under the ADA, and much more. You can read the entire guide at the link below.
EduMed knows that higher education can be the ticket to a rewarding career in medical and health. We also know that every student needs different things when it comes to education, whether a fully online program to maximize flexibility or help finding and securing financial aid or scholarships. To get students moving in the right direction, we work with hundreds of healthcare and higher education experts to provide well-researched and user-friendly content, from detailed school rankings of schools and programs to interviews with online program leaders at colleges and universities across the country. Learn how EduMed can help you succeed.
These patients are not aware of the true risks, and surgeons aren’t telling them, new research suggests.
by Paula Span
“The patient, a man in his 70s, had abdominal pain serious enough to send him to a VA Pittsburgh Healthcare hospital. Doctors there found the culprit: a gallstone had inflamed his pancreas.
“Dr. Daniel Hall, a surgeon who met with the patient, explained that pancreatitis can be fairly mild, as in this case, or severe enough to cause death. Recovery usually requires five to seven days, some of them in a hospital, during which the stone passes or a doctor uses a flexible scope to remove the blockage.
“But ‘because it can be life-threatening, after patients recover, we usually take out the gall bladder to prevent its happening again,’ Dr. Hall said.”
Read this article in its entirety at The New York Times.
“A Change in Medicare Has Therapists Alarmed | Medicare revamped its reimbursement policy for physical, occupational and speech therapy in nursing homes. That has left some patients with less help.” – The New York Times
by Paula Span
“In late September, a woman in her 70s arrived at a skilled nursing facility in suburban Houston after several weeks in the hospital. Her leg had been amputated after a long-ago knee replacement became infected; she also suffered from diabetes, depression, anxiety and general muscular weakness.
“An occupational therapist named Susan Nielson began working with her an hour a day, five days a week. Gradually, the patient became more mobile. With assistance and encouragement, she could transfer from her bed to a wheelchair, get herself to the bathroom for personal grooming and lift light weights to build her endurance.
“That progress ended abruptly on Oct. 1, when Medicare changed its payment system for physical, occupational and speech therapy in nursing homes.”
Click here to continue reading this New York Times article.
Although many consumers pay nothing out of pocket for flu shots, insurers foot the bill. And those prices vary dramatically. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
by Phil Galewitz
“In the Byzantine world of health care pricing, most people wouldn’t expect that the ubiquitous flu shot could be a prime example of how the system’s lack of transparency can lead to disparate costs.
“The Affordable Care Act requires health insurers to cover all federally recommended vaccines at no charge to patients, including flu immunizations. Although people with insurance pay nothing when they get their shot, many don’t realize that their insurers foot the bill — and that those companies will recoup their costs eventually.
“In just one small sample from one insurer, Kaiser Health News found dramatic differences among the costs for its own employees. At a Sacramento, Calif., facility, the insurer paid $85, but just a little more than half that at a clinic in Long Beach. A drugstore in Washington, D.C., was paid $32.”
Click here to read this article at California HealthLine in its entirety.
“Elusive Zzzzzzzs: Setting back clock won’t erase sleep deficit nagging older adults” – The Boston Globe
“JOHN TLUMACKI / GLOBE STAFF/GLOBE STAFF
by Robert Weisman
“Will you enjoy an extra hour of sleep when daylight saving time ends Sunday?
“Many sleep-deprived seniors, after dutifully setting back their clocks Saturday night, will mark the occasion doing what they’re often doing in the wee hours: tossing and turning, nudging snoring spouses, and fretting about being awake.
“It’s a cruel irony for older adults. At a time of life when they should be able to relax, after decades of raising children and trudging to work, falling and staying asleep are more challenging than ever. Chalk it up to rising anxiety, changing circadian rhythms, and unhealthy habits, ranging from late-day caffeine and alcohol intake to nonstop digital interruptions.”
Continue reading this article in its entirety at The Boston Globe, click here.
“Every fall, the 60 million Americans who use the health plan can compare options and save money. Here’s what to consider.”
Credit: Corey Brickley
by Mark Miller
“If you’re enrolled in Medicare but worry about the cost of health care, your chance to do something about it is right around the corner.
“Most people enroll in Medicare when they become eligible at age 65. But every fall, they have the opportunity to change their coverage during an enrollment season that runs from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7. This is the time of year when you can switch between original fee-for-service Medicare and Medicare Advantage, the all-in-one managed care alternative to the traditional program. You also can re-evaluate your prescription drug coverage — whether that is a stand-alone Part D plan, or wrapped into an Advantage plan.
“It’s a good idea to do a checkup on your coverage, even if you are happy with your current choices.”
Free, Objective, Expert Medicare Counseling
“The APPRISE program offers free Medicare counseling to older Pennsylvanians. APPRISE counselors are specially trained to answer your questions and provide you with objective, easy-to-understand information about Medicare, Medicare Supplemental Insurance, Medicaid, and Long-Term Care Insurance.”
Each county’s Area Agency on Aging has APPRISE counselors to help you understand the options and opportunities.
For information about aging topics click here or on the above graphic.
“States Flubbed the Rollout of Their Health Insurance Exchanges. Now They’re Ready to Try Again.” – Stateline
“A cancer patient receives treatment at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Pennsylvania is among at least six states that are creating their own health insurance marketplaces or considering it.” Matt Rourke/The Associated Press
“The launch of President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act was marred by the performance of the newly created state health insurance marketplaces.
“With generous federal financial support, many states created these markets, also called exchanges, based on soaring promises: Individuals and small businesses could compare policies. They could get federal subsidies. It would be easy to sign up. And if people’s income declined, they could enroll in their state’s Medicaid plan.
“It didn’t work out that way. Websites didn’t work. Data couldn’t be accessed. Call centers were overwhelmed, and states spent millions on quick fixes, many of which failed.
“Hawaii, Nevada and Oregon abandoned plans to operate their independent marketplaces and instead relied on the federal marketplace, Healthcare.gov. Other states, including California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Maryland and Washington, spent millions of dollars to overcome problems with technology.
“The experience so rattled states that seven years later, only 11 of them, plus Washington, D.C., operate independent marketplaces. The rest either use the federal marketplace or a federal-state partnership.
“But now at least six states — Maine, New Mexico, New Jersey, Nevada, Oregon and Pennsylvania — are creating their own marketplaces or seriously considering doing so.”
Healthcare transition often can present a confusing scenario. This article is from The Buffalo News (Buffalo, NY) and is specific to New York, but the issue of transition applies everywhere.
“Staffing levels, health inspections and whether a facility has been fined for conditions that could harm residents are all public information and easily accessible through the federal Nursing Home Compare website that rates nursing homes. But many families don’t have the information at the very moment they need it most.”
“Already two hours late, Roberta Novack waits patiently in a corner for an ambulance team to arrive to transport her brother Henry Kostrzewa, 52, to his latest stay at the Buffalo Center for Rehabilitation & Nursing on Delaware Ave. in Buffalo This was on Saturday, July 28, 2018.” (Robert Kirkham/Buffalo News)
by Lou Michel
“The call from the hospital jolted Henry Kostrzewa’s sister. Erie County Medical Center was going to discharge the 52-year-old disabled welder and she needed to help him pick a nursing home.
“The clock was ticking.
“Kostrzewa had been informed he could end up personally responsible for his hospital bills because he had been ‘medically cleared’ to move into a nursing home.
“Roberta Novack told her younger brother not to sign anything. She feared he would end up in a facility unable to provide quality care for the bone infection in his spine that had kept him bedridden for months following a hip replacement surgery.”