The life expectancy of Native Americans in some states is 20 years shorter than the national average. There are many reasons why.
Among them, health programs for American Indians are chronically underfunded by Congress. And, about a quarter of Native Americans reported experiencing discrimination when going to a doctor or health clinic, according to findings of a poll by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Margaret Moss, a member of the Hidatsa tribe, has worked as a nurse for the Indian Health Service and in other systems. She now teaches nursing at the University of Buffalo.
She says she has seen racism toward Native Americans in health care facilities where she’s worked, and as a mom trying to get proper care for her son.
The CMS announced Tuesday that it added four new quality measures for healthcare consumers to view on the Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility and Long-Term Care Hospital compare websites. The additions to the sites come as the CMS works to improve the Hospice Compare website, which fell under scrutiny shortly after it launched in August for showing patients inaccurate information about providers. The CMS’ suite of Compare sites were mandated under the Affordable Care Act and designed to encourage Medicare beneficiaries to seek out high-quality healthcare. CMS Administrator Seema Verma has publicly touted her commitment to improving patients’ access to information that allows them to shop for their care.
Consider it America’s other prescription drug epidemic.
For decades, experts have warned that older Americans are taking too many unnecessary drugs, often prescribed by multiple doctors, for dubious or unknown reasons. Researchers estimate that 25 percent of people ages 65 to 69 take at least five prescription drugs to treat chronic conditions, a figure that jumps to nearly 46 percent for those between 70 and 79. Doctors say it is not uncommon to encounter patients taking more than 20 drugs to treat acid reflux, heart disease, depression or insomnia or other disorders.
Unlike the overuse of opioid painkillers, the polypharmacy problem has attracted little attention, even though its hazards are well documented. But some doctors are working to reverse the trend.
To face challenges that lie ahead in 2018, healthcare organizations must rely on the resiliency they’ve built up amid the upheavals of 2017, including the ups and downs of Congress’ attempts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
Those issues include even more uncertainty over healthcare reform, new threats to data security, the need to tackle the social determinants of patients’ health and a greater focus on the patient experience, Benjamin Isgur, leader of PwC’s Health Research Institute, said in an interview.
FierceHealthcare caught up with Isgur to talk about the management consulting firm’s annual trends report.
The latest national polling from the Pew Research Center found Donald Trump, nearing the end of the first year of his presidency, with a woeful approval rating of just 32%. By a significant margin, no modern president has been this unpopular at this stage of their presidency.
The polling for “Obamacare,” however, looks vastly better. The Pew Research Center reported yesterday:
While the future of the Affordable Care Act is in question, the public increasingly thinks the law has had a positive impact on the country. Today, more Americans say the 2010 health care overhaul has had a mostly positive than mostly negative effect on the country (44% versus 35%), while 14% say it has not had much effect.
Overall support for the health care law also has grown since last year. Currently, 56% of the public approves of the law while 38% disapproves, according to a new national survey by Pew Research Center, conducted Nov. 29-Dec. 4.
Note, Pew has been doing surveys on the ACA since 2010. The health care reform law’s popularity is now at its highest point to date.
Consumer advocates reported some glitches Monday in the final days for “Obamacare” sign-ups, although the Trump administration largely seemed to be keeping its promise of a smooth enrollment experience.In Illinois, some consumers who successfully completed an application for financial assistance through HealthCare.gov got a message saying they would likely be eligible to buy a health plan, “but none are available to you in your area.”That information was incorrect because every county in the nation currently has at least one health insurer offering plans under the Affordable Care Act for next year.
Some Americans who froze their credit reports following the big data breach this year at the credit-rating firm Equifax may be in for a surprise if they try to purchase insurance on the federal health law’s marketplaces. That freeze could trigger a delay in the application process.
Signing up for a marketplace plan online requires consumers — especially first-time enrollees — to prove their identity by answering questions linked to their credit history. It can affect both those who are seeking a subsidy and those who are not.
After years of debate on health care reform, Obamacare is still in limbo. That doesn’t mean that the two parties can’t still come together to improve health care, though. Rather than tearing down Obamacare or rehashing Trumpcare, we should be asking the real question: How do we, as a nation, derive significantly more value for every health care dollar spent?
Now is the time to change the dialogue around health care from wealthy versus the poor. The conversation should be about anybody – wealthy or less-wealthy, healthy or less-healthy – getting better value out of the dollars devoted to our health care system.
The CMS will continue its multi-state initiative to reduce ambulance use in the Medicare program, citing the program’s success in lowering claims.Under the initiative, Medicare beneficiaries need prior authorization for regular, non-emergency ambulance transportation in order for the rides to be covered. The CMS said Tuesday that the 4-year-old demonstration has led to fewer claims for ambulance services.The program, which is now up and running in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia was on track to end this month. Now, it will continue through Dec. 1, 2018.
As Congress sprints to the finish line to get home in time to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s, the best holiday gift my former colleagues can give American children would be to reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
CHIP provides comprehensive health-care coverage to approximately 9 million children in families that earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, but who cannot access or afford commercial health insurance.
Bea Lipsky shuffled into her wellness coach’s office one morning this fall and parked her walker by the wall. Lipsky, 89, had had a trying year, enduring a hernia operation and two emergency room visits for heart problems. She’s losing her hearing, and recently gave up her dream of riding in a hot air balloon for her 90th birthday.
That day, though, she was filled with pride: She told her coach she’d achieved her goals for the year, including attending her grandson’s wedding in China.
Ascension Health and Providence St. Joseph Health are in talks about a merger that would create the largest U.S. hospital chain, according to the Wall Street Journal. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters Newslook
Merger talks between the two systems began in October 2016 to combine their hospitals and clinics and strengthen finances and operations. Together, they could become the largest nonprofit health system in the country, with a combined revenue of $28.4 billion and more than 700 locations in 28 states.