Latest Morning Briefing Stories
Media outlets report on news from Massachusetts, Texas, New Hampshire, Missouri, North Carolina, Florida, California, Hawaii and Ohio.
Medicare Advantage plans to offer a host of new benefits next year, such as transportation to medical appointments, home-delivered meals, wheelchair ramps, bathroom grab bars and air conditioners for asthma sufferers.
The Senate report says that state and federal officials must do more to improve safety at nursing homes, while the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services argues that new rules help clarify emergency procedures. In other nursing home news, Synergy Health Centers announces that it will close two of its 10 Massachusetts facilities.
Meanwhile, in other news, the Washington Post reports on an effort in California to equip people with Alzheimer’s, dementia or autism — potential wanderers — with trackable bracelets that can be activated by search crews.
Work as a caregiver can be physically demanding and complex, but people in the field often have to take two jobs to make ends meet. “We’re limited in what we pay because of reimbursements,” Paul Randolph, intake supervisor at Excel Home Care, tells The Wall Street Journal.
If patients select inadequate plans, they can end up with a surprising amount of out-of-pocket costs. Experts provide tips for making the smart choices during the open enrollment session that runs into early December.
The measures are being watched closely as a method to expanding Medicaid in states with resistant legislatures. Ballot initiatives “are so powerful because they strip away from the partisanship and the tribalism that dominates so much of our politics,” said Jonathan Schliefer, executive director of The Fairness Project. “When it comes to health care, the biggest gap isn’t between Republicans and Democrats. It’s between politicians and everyone else.” Meanwhile, The Washington Post fact checks campaign ads that claim Republicans will get rid of Medicare.
Editorial pages offer opinions on “Medicare For All,” the health law, mental illness, aging, and other health topics.
For example, a 63-year-old transgender woman wonders if she would be accepted at a long-term care center. Would she have to hide who she is and go back into the closet “to get the care I deserve to get?” In other news on aging, predicting Alzheimer’s, knee replacement surgery and staying active in the later years.
Dr. David Sable talks with Stat about the new developments in the field. In other public health news: sex education, the flu, DNA, snakebites, scooters, autism, traveling nurses and more.
Missing closed captioning and other gaps for emergency communications can cut off Americans who are deaf from getting the news on life-threatening situations. Meanwhile, Florida hospitals are still recovering from Hurricane Michael.
The investigation by the HHS inspector general raises some concerns just as Medicare Advantage plans become more and more popular. Analysts predict that one in two seniors will have them in a few years despite predictions that the health law would hobble the marketplace.
For example, a manic episode may be preceded by rising numbers of typos and faster typing. But a host of privacy issues comes along with the technology. In other public health news: air pollution, stem cells, older patients, vision loss, dementia, anxiety and more.
One of the main health care promises featured in Republican campaign ads this cycle is that theirs is the party that will protect Medicare as it is — even though entitlement program changes have long been desired by GOP leadership. News about the midterm elections comes out of Tennessee, Maine, Texas, California and Ohio, as well.
Some residents are being treated with “ultrahigh intensity” rehab in their last week of life, which has experts looking at who is benefiting from that decision. Meanwhile, CMS aims to increase its enforcement actions of nursing home staff in cases of elder abuse. Nursing home and elder care news comes out of Kansas and Florida, as well.
Media outlets report on news from California, North Carolina, Colorado, Michigan, Oregon, Kentucky, Florida, Maryland, Arizona, New Hampshire, Texas and Minnesota.
While doing your job, your brain faces daily memory, processing and multi-tasking challenges that keep its cognitive functions sharp. Meanwhile, being diagnosed with dementia does not mean patients can’t have an active life.
Open enrollment for Medicare and prescription drug plans will begin Oct. 15 for coverage in 2019 and close Dec. 7. One change this year is that seniors can try a Medicare Advantage plan for up to three months and if they don’t like it, they can switch to another Advantage plan or enroll in traditional Medicare.
“I think it’s a breakthrough,” Clifford Rosen, an endocrinologist and physician, said of the study. While researchers have known that older women with osteoporosis benefit from drugs called bisphosphonates, this study supports their value for younger women with less brittle bones. Some, however, remain cautious. In other news on aging, two big studies focus on Alzheimer’s prevention.
A Cornell University food researcher’s discredited work is symptomatic of a pervasive problem with food and health studies, according to a group of scientists, who say part of the problem stems from the need to publish often. In other public health news, there are reports on flu, twins, pregnancy, nursing homes, living donors, teen girls, anxiety, vaping and more.