Number Of Geriatricians Shrinks As Number Of Older Americans Who Need Care Grows
In other public health news, insurance providers are hiring social workers trained to help addiction issues. KQED writes about the benefits of home screening kits for colon cancer. And NPR reports on the continued challenges for people with Type 1 diabetes, despite the gains made fighting Type 2.
The New York Times:
As Population Ages, Where Are The Geriatricians?
Geriatrics is one of the few medical specialties in the United States that is contracting even as the need increases, ranking at the bottom of the list of specialties that internal medicine residents choose to pursue. According to projections based on census data, by the year 2030, roughly 31 million Americans will be older than 75, the largest such population in American history. There are about 7,000 geriatricians in practice today in the United States. The American Geriatrics Society estimates that to meet the demand, medical schools would have to train at least 6,250 additional geriatricians between now and 2030, or about 450 more a year than the current rate. (Hafner, 1/25)
Insurers Hire Social Workers To Tackle The Opioid Epidemic
For many people struggling with opioid use, a key to success in recovery is having support. Some are getting that support from an unlikely place: their health insurer. ... Insurers typically cover some inpatient substance use treatment and detox, says CeltiCare's president and CEO Jay Gonzalez, but those are only short-term solutions. After a patient is discharged, relapse — and readmission — are likely without follow-up support. That's why CeltiCare assigns social workers to some of the people it insures. (Becker, 1/25)
Put Off By Colonoscopy? Home Screening Test Is Good Alternative, Study Shows
An annual screening test for colon cancer that can be done at home showed strong effectiveness over several years, and patients who were sent the kits in the mail were very likely to participate year after year, a large study from Kaiser in both Northern and Southern California found. (Aliferis, 1/25)
What's Your Type? With Diabetes, It Can Be Unclear
A drop in the number of newly-diagnosed diabetes cases is good public health news. But for the Type 1 diabetes community it's a source of frustration, because the numbers hide their story. While it's certainly the right direction for the more common Type 2 diabetes, the findings don't apply to Type 1, a different condition that appears to be on the rise and that is not caused by obesity or lifestyle factors. (Tucker, 1/25)