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Medicare & Medicaid News

Medicare Help to Guide Your Open Enrollment Challenge

Medicare Open Enrollment – the time to make changes in your Medicare services – opens tomorrow and closes on December 7

By Tucker Sutherland, editor, SeniorJournal.com

Medicare videos may help you with Open Enrollment - see links

Oct. 14, 2015 – Medicare Open Enrollment – it begins tomorrow, but for many senior citizens it is not something they eagerly anticipate each year. Not liking change just seems to be something that develops in our DNA as we become a senior. And, it is made even more distasteful knowing the whole system of choosing the right health and drug plans is designed for using a computer to go online. More...

 

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Mental Health, Alzheimer's, Dementia

Mental Stress Impact on Heart Varies Between Men, Women

Women had greater increase in negative emotions, decrease in positive emotions

Oct. 13, 2014 — Researchers found that while men had more changes in blood pressure and heart rate in response to the mental stress, more women experienced myocardial ischemia, decreased blood flow to the heart. The women also expressed a greater increase in negative emotions and a greater decrease in positive emotions during the mental stress tests. Women also experienced increased platelet aggregation, which is the start of the formation of blood clots, more than men. More...

Medicare & You Available Online or for E-Readers as Help for Open Enrollment

Printed books have been mailed but if you have not received it, or prefer electronic data convenience it is online to help seniors with Open Enrollment, which starts Wednesday

See in story what you can do during open enrollment, link to Plan Finder

Oct. 13, 2015 - As senior citizens do their research in preparation for Medicare Open Enrollment that begins on Wednesday, an important reference to use is the Medicare & You 2015 handbook, which provides information on Medicare provisions for the new year. The paper edition was mailed to all Medicare enrollees in October but if you have not received it, it is available online or as a download to your eReader or other digital devices. More...

Social Security Q&A

Life Expectancy Calculator at Social Security Can Help Retirement Planning

Social Security provides some information on Medicare Open Enrollment that begins this wee

Oct. 12, 2014 – Did you know that Social Security provides a Life Expectancy Calculator on their website? It can come in pretty handy for planning your retirement and Social Security strategy. It is just one of the top answers in this week’s Social Security Q&A. Another big one is about Medicare Open Enrollment that begins this week and the opportunity for Extra Help. More...

Senior Citizen Politics

New Women’s Initiative Focuses on Income Inequality, Health and Retirement Security

“Eleanor’s Hope” continues Roosevelt legacy of social progress

Oct. 11, 2014 - A new national initiative, Eleanor’s Hope, to help bring an end to the disparity between men’s and women’s income, health and retirement security, was launched this week by The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare. A “press call” announcement included Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Congresswoman Gwen Moore (D-WI), NOW President Terry O’Neill and Tufts Health Plan President/CEO, James Roosevelt, Jr. More...

Medicare & Medicaid News

Medicare to Cover First Stool DNA Test for Detection of Colorectal Cancer

Cologuard the first and only FDA-approved noninvasive stool DNA screening test for colorectal cancer

Oct. 10, 2014 – Exact Sciences Corp. announced yesterday that Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued its final National Coverage Determination (NCD) for Cologuard, making it the first and only Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved stool DNA test for the detection of colorectal cancer and precancer covered by Medicare. Coverage will go into effect immediately. More...

Health and Medicine for Seniors

Fake ‘Good’ Cholesterol Wins Fight to Reduce Plaque Buildup

Points toward new method for preventing plaque buildup in the arteries that can cause heart attacks and strokes

Oct. 10, 2014 - Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have created a synthetic molecule that mimics “good” cholesterol and have shown it can reduce plaque buildup in the arteries of animal models. The molecule, taken orally, improved cholesterol in just two weeks. More...

Caregiver & Elder Care News

Heart Valve Disease Hits One of Ten Elderly Women Warns Educational Campaign

Alliance for Aging Research says it hits men and women but women tend to have worse prognosis

Oct. 10, 2014 - A new campaign has been launched aimed at educating about heart valve disease in women, a condition that causes damage to one or more of the heart’s four valves and can lead to loss of independence, disability and death. It affects one in 10 women age 75 and over and one in 50 of all adult women, says the Alliance for Aging Research. More...

Medicare & Medicaid News

Medicare 2015 Part B Charges Remain Unchanged, Part A Deductible Up Some

Premiums, copays and deductibles for other Medicare programs for 2015 also announced

Oct. 9, 2014 – There is good news for senior citizens today – the Medicare Part B monthly premium and deductible will remain the same for 2015 as the last two years: $104.90 and $147 respectively. Most other Medicare charges will also remain stable with the exception of The Medicare Part A deductible, that beneficiaries pay when admitted to the hospital, will be $1,260 in 2015, an increase of $44 from this year's $1,216 deductible. More...

Medicare & Medicaid News

Many Medicare Outpatients Pay More at Rural Hospitals, Report Says

Medicare pays country hospitals more generously so they won’t go out of business

By Jordan Rau KHN Staff Writer

Oct. 9, 2014 - Many Medicare beneficiaries treated at primarily rural “critical access” hospitals end up paying between two and six times more for outpatient services than do patients at other hospitals, according to a report released Wednesday by the inspector general at the Department of Health and Human Services. More...

Medicare & Medicaid News

Hospice Providers Cheer New IMPACT Act Signed by President Obama

‘This new law strengthens oversight and transparency throughout the entire hospice community’

Oct. 9, 2014 - A new law, the “Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014” (IMPACT Act), that includes provisions creating greater oversight and increased transparency within the hospice community was signed and made official yesterday by President Obama. The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization push for passage of this legislation and cheered the President’s final approval. More...

Caregiver & Elder Care News

Tips for Slowing Increase in Nursing Home Infections

Infections are a leading cause of deaths and complications for nursing home residents

Oct. 9, 2014 –A study, which examined infections in U.S. nursing homes over a five-year period, found increased infection rates for pneumonia, urinary tract infections (UTIs), viral hepatitis, septicemia, wound infections, and multiple drug-resistant organisms (MDROs). This alarming increase found in the study from Columbia University School of Nursing suggests more must be done to protect residents of these facilities - mostly senior citizens - from preventable complications. More...

Caregiver & Elder Care News

Senior Men Moving to Memory Care Communities Faster Than Women

Senior men 27% more likely than women to require memory care services

Oct. 8, 2014 – Both men and women are moving in increasing numbers to memory care communities, however, male move-ins are growing at a rate that is 14 percent greater than women over a three-year period (July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2014), according to the senior living referral service, A Place for Mom. More...

Aging & Longevity

Life Expectancy in U.S. Continues to Reach New Highs

CDC report based on 2012 data says most young Americans can expect to live 78.8 years - women to 81.2, men to 76.4

Oct. 8, 2014 - Life expectancy at birth for the U.S. population reached a record high of 78.8 years in 2012, according to a new report from the National Vital Statistics System of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More..

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Memory Loss Associated with Alzheimer’s Reversed for First Time, Study Claims

Small trial from UCLA and Buck Institute claims success using systems approach to memory disorders

Oct. 7, 2014 - This study from the UCLA Mary S. Easton Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research and the Buck Institute for Research on Aging is the first to suggest that memory loss in patients may be reversed, and improvement sustained, using a complex, 36-point therapeutic program that involves comprehensive changes in diet, brain stimulation, exercise, optimization of sleep, specific pharmaceuticals and vitamins, and multiple additional steps that affect brain chemistry. More...

Medicare & Medicaid News

Physical Therapy Before Hip, Knee Replacements May Save Medicare Mega-Millions

Also good news for senior citizens, who undergo most knee, hip replacements, to endure less stress following surgery

By Tucker Sutherland, editor, SeniorJournal.com

Oct. 7, 2014 – New research released today finds that postoperative care and costs could be reduced by about 30% for patients having total hip (THR) or total knee (TKR) replacement surgery, if physical therapy is administered before joint replacement surgery. It is good news for senior citizens, who have the majority of these procedures, and it makes sense considering the increasing abilities of seniors to tolerate physical exercise at increasing age levels. More...

Medicare & Medicaid News

Nine Tips for the Daunting Task of Signing Up For Medicare

Enrolling in Medicare is a ‘daunting task’ even for a consumer reporter who has written about health-insurance

By Caroline Mayer, Kaiser Health News

Oct. 7, 2015 - “Welcome to America's hottest talk line. Ladies, to talk to interesting and exciting guys free, press 1 now. Guys, hot ladies are waiting to talk to you…" Wait! I thought I was calling Social Security to ask a question about enrolling in Medicare. More...

Features for Senior Citizens

85-Year-Old Gives Her Book Away to Promote Youthful Rock-Star Life in Retirement

She wants to stop the premature decline caused by traditional retirement, especially for women

Oct. 7, 2014 - Barbara Morris, 85-year-old pharmacist and anti-aging author is not shy about stating her beliefs about anything. She is especially critical of traditional retirement, calling it a "toxic " lifestyle because she believes it contributes to premature decline. More...

Medicare & Medicaid News

Medicare Introduces Innovations to Improve Post-Acute Care

Nursing Home Five-Star rating expands, conditions for participation by home health agencies strengthened

Oct. 7, 2014 – Two new initiatives to improve the quality of post-acute care in Medicare were announced yesterday by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). First, the agency’s widely-used Five Star Quality Rating System for Nursing Homes will be expanded to improve consumer information about individual nursing homes’ quality. Secondly, proposed new conditions for home health agencies will modernize Medicare’s Home Health Agency Conditions of Participation to ensure safe delivery of quality care. More...

Health and Medicine for Seniors

Cancer Grows at Night, Maybe That’s When to Attack, New Study Says

Weizmann Institute scientists find that a hormone that keeps us alert also suppresses the spread of cancer

Oct. 6, 2015 - They emerge at night, while we sleep unaware, growing and spreading out as quickly as they can. And they are deadly. In a surprise finding that was recently published in Nature Communications, Weizmann Institute of Science researchers showed that nighttime is the right time for cancer to grow and spread in the body. Their findings suggest that administering certain treatments in time with the body’s day-night cycle could boost their efficiency. More...

Health and Medicine for Seniors

Key to Beating Diabetes May Be in Medicine for Treating Tapeworms

Rutgers study seeks to find a safe, practical way to diminish fat content in the liver; niclosamide may be it

Oct. 5, 2014 - New research from Rutgers shows promising evidence that a modified form of a different drug, niclosamide – now used to eliminate intestinal parasites – may hold the key to battling the disease at its source. Type 2 diabetes affects an estimated 28 million Americans and almost one out of four seniors 60 and over, according to the American Diabetes Association, but medications now available only treat symptoms, not the root cause of the disease. More...

Aging & Longevity

One-Third of Countries Struggling to Meet Needs of Aging Senior Populations

Norway ranked as best country for seniors, Afghanistan last and U.S.A. 8th

Oct. 4, 2014 - People around the world are living longer, but social policies to support their wellbeing in later life are lagging behind in many countries. This is according a new report by HelpAge International, developed in partnership with the University of Southampton, which ranked Norway as the best country in the world for senior citizens, Afghanistan the worst and the U.S.A. is number 8. More...

Medicare & Medicaid News

Telemarketing Scheme of Fake Medicare Callers Took Millions from Senior Citizens

Federal Trade Commission gets court to shut it down, seeks permanent shutdown, return of money

Oct. 3, 2014 – A massive fake Medicare scheme that stole millions of dollars from the bank accounts of senior citizens has been stopped by a federal court at the request of the Federal Trade Commission. The telemarketing crooks pretended to be part of Medicare to gain the confidence of the seniors. More...

Medicare & Medicaid News

Medicare Serious About Cutting Readmissions, Fines 2,610 Hospitals

Federal government’s penalties begin their third year this month

By Jordan Rau, KHN Staff Writer

Oct. 3, 2014 - Medicare is fining a record number of hospitals – 2,610 – for having too many patients return within a month for additional treatments, federal records released Wednesday show. Even though the nation’s readmission rate is dropping, Medicare’s average fines will be higher, with 39 hospitals receiving the largest penalty allowed, including the nation’s oldest hospital, Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia. More..

Caregiver & Elder Care News

Family Caregiver Alliance Adds Nine Free Publications for Caregivers

Oct. 3, 2014 - The library of free materials available online for caregivers has increased by nine publications, according to a news release by The Family Caregiver Alliance. The educational materials - many in multiple languages - include fact sheets, research reports, webinars, educational videos, and more. They are all available free online on the recently redesigned FCA website. More...

Health and Medicine for Seniors

Blood Test Reveals Genetic Risk of Atrial Fibrillation and Stroke

About half of the people with AFib are seniors age 75 or older

Oct. 3, 2014 – Atrial fibrillation, which causes an irregular heartbeat, can lead to a number of health risks, including heart disease and stroke. Developing AFib increases markedly with older age, with about half of those with the condition are senior citizens over age 75. The American Heart Association points out people are more likely to get the condition if a family member has it. New research, however, has discovered how to identify with a simple blood test those who are genetically predisposed to develop atrial fibrillation and possibly a stroke. More...

Social Security News

Social Security Seeks Maryland Attorneys for Pro Bono Assistance Pilot

Attorneys get chance to fulfill Court of Appeals’ aspirational goal of providing pro bono services assisting young, elderly, and disabled - may become national program

Oct. 2, 2014 - Implementation of a pro bono pilot in Maryland for attorneys interested in being a representative payee for a Social Security beneficiary was announced today by Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security. Representative payees, she said, provide crucial help to the most vulnerable individuals in our community with their Social Security and Supplemental Security Income payments. More..

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Can Stimulating Curiosity Bring Aging Memories Back to Life?

New research says it's easier to learn if you are interested and this curiosity stimulates the brain’s hippocampus where memories form

By Tucker Sutherland, editor

Based on materials from Cell Press

Oct. 2, 2014 - The more interested we are in a topic, the easier it is to learn about that topic, according to new research published today in the journal Neuron. For most of us, it is surprising that it took a research study to make the discovery. But, then again, it could be a new direction for efforts to improve memory in the healthy elderly and to develop new approaches for treating patients with disorders that affect memory. More

Health and Medicine for Seniors

Old Lungs Look New Again - Ibuprofen Reduces Inflammation in Elderly

Finding might someday support use of ibuprofen as adjunct therapy for senior citizens with tuberculosis

By Emily Caldwell

Oct. 2, 2014 - New research shows that the lungs become more inflammatory from cell damage with age and that ibuprofen can lower that inflammation. Researchers have found that immune cells from old mouse lungs fought tuberculosis bacteria as effectively as cells from young mice after lung inflammation was reduced by ibuprofen. More...

Aging & Longevity

Senior Citizens Have a Different Sense of Humor

Does our sense of humor change as we age? Or is it based on life experiences?

Oct. 2, 2014 - TV sitcoms in which characters make jokes at someone else’s expense are no laughing matter for older adults, according to a University of Akron researcher and two co-authors who examined whether young, middle-aged and older adults found clips of inappropriate social behavior to be funny. More...

Senior Citizen Alerts

Four New Cancer Risks Added to Report on Carcinogens by HHS

Science-based document identifies chemical, biological, and physical agents that are considered cancer hazards

Oct. 2, 2014 – A new report – the 13th – on cancer causing carcinogens has been issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services with four substances added to the list, which now numbers 243. The science-based document identifies chemical, biological, and physical agents that are considered cancer hazards.

Caregiver & Elder Care News

Most Allergic Deaths from Medications; Older People, African-Americans Usual Victims

Montefiore/Einstein research seeks risk factors to allow physicians to develop preventative strategies

Sept. 30, 2014 – When we hear of allergy-related sudden death, most of us probably think of something in the surrounding environment – like a plant, or something in the air. We would be wrong. Medications are the leading cause of allergy-related sudden deaths in the U.S. And, the risk of fatal drug-induced allergic reactions is increasing rapidly and is particularly high among older people and African-Americans.

 

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Aging & Longevity

Older People Who Cannot Distinguish Smells Likely to Die Before Those Who Can

After first test, 39 percent who failed died within five years

Oct. 1, 2014 – Here is a smell test senior citizens don’t want to fail. Those who did the worst in this study of older people trying to identify scents died off the fastest. The researchers now say it may predict which older people are most at risk of dying.

Health and Medicine for Seniors

Many Senior Women Receive Unnecessary Pap Tests

Surprised that so many women over age 65 reported  recent Pap test; unnecessary tests can result in stress for the patient, increased costs, and inefficient use of time

By Stephanie Stephens, HBNS Contributing Writer

Oct. 1, 2014 - As many as half to two-thirds of women who have undergone hysterectomies or are older than 65 years in the United States report receiving Pap tests for cervical cancer. This prevalence is surprising in light of the 2003 U.S. Preventive Services Taskforce guidelines recommending that women discontinue Pap testing if they have received a total hysterectomy without a history of cervical cancer and if they are over age 65 years with ongoing and recent normal Pap test results.

Medicare & Medicaid News

Medicare Open Enrollment Starts October 15, Here is What We Know So Far

Premiums not expected to rise overall in 2015 - some may decline - but some plans have signaled significantly higher rates

By Michelle Andrews, Kaiser Health News

Oct. 1, 2014 - Medicare beneficiaries who want to make changes to their prescription drug plans or Medicare Advantage coverage can do so starting Oct. 15 during the Medicare's program’s annual open enrollment period. There will be somewhat fewer plans to pick from this year, but in general people will have plenty of options, experts say.

Medicare & Medicaid News

What Doctors, Hospitals Provided Free by Drug Firms, Suppliers Released by CMS

Information promotes transparency in financial relationships between health care industry, doctors and teaching hospitals

Oct. 1, 2014 – For the first time, consumers have information on consulting fees, research grants, travel reimbursements, and other gifts the health care industry – such as medical device manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies – provided to physicians and teaching hospitals. The information was released yesterday by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for the last five months of 2013. It meets a requirement of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) to help consumers understand the financial relationships between the health care industry, and physicians and teaching hospitals.

Features for Senior Citizens

Pope Francis Calls the World to Honor the Elderly, Says Old Age Time of Grace

Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVL, joined 40,000 elderly to hear Pope Francis

Sept. 30, 2014 - Pope Francis celebrated Mass on Sunday morning in St Peter's Square, following a special reception with an estimated 40,000 elderly men and women, including the honored guest, Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI. In his homily, the 77-year old Holy Father spoke of the enormous – indeed, indispensable - contribution that seniors make to society, most importantly in their conservation of hard-earned wisdom and experience, according to a report by Vatican Radio.

 

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Retirement News

U.S. Seniors Achieve Highest Home Equity Since 2008 Crash

Reverse mortgage group tracking shows seniors paying off more of home equity

Sept. 30, 2014 - Americans 62 years old and older now have more equity in their homes than at any time since early 2008, according to a quarterly measurement by the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA). The NRMLA’s quarterly measure that analyzes trends in home values, home equity, and mortgage debt of homeowners 62 and older, has reached 178.91, its highest level since Q4 2007.

Social Security News

Social Security Opens New National Support Center

Sept. 29, 2014 - Social Security opened a new National Support Center (NSC) today in Urbana, MD., that the agency says is a state-of-the-art data center that will meet the agency’s anticipated IT workloads for at least the next 20 years.

Health and Medicine for Seniors

Heart Attacks in Older Men May Drop 80% with Modest Diet, Lifestyle Changes

Study of over 20,000 men age 45 to 79 published in Journal of the American College of Cardiology

Sept. 28, 2014 – If you are a male senior citizens this study should get your attention. It concludes that 80 percent - four out of five - of heart attacks (myocardial infarctions) in men may be preventable with a relatively easy combination low-risk behavior in diet and lifestyle.

Medicare & Medicaid News

Seniors are 90% of Flu Deaths; Just 65% Get Free Medicare Vaccinations

Actions those senior citizens 65 and older need to take this flu season with links to lots of information - CDC says get shot by October

Sept. 28, 2014 – There is a reason that senior citizens are the focus of attention when flu season approaches - 90 percent of seasonal flu-related deaths and between 50 and 60 percent of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations in the U.S. occur in people 65 years and older, according to government estimates. Knowing these numbers and that Medicare provides free flu shots, it should be easy to convince seniors to get vaccinated.

Aging & Longevity

Japan Having Problem with Senior Citizens Refusing to Accept Being Elderly

Japan No. 2 in Life Expectancy,
 U.S. 34

Japan is listed by the World Health Organization as the number two nation in the world in a ranking by average life expectancy - 84.6 years.

The U.S. ranks 34 with at 79.8 years.

Recent survey finds older Japanese just don't like being considered elderly, even if it means special favors

Sept. 27, 2014 – Japan has a problem with its senior citizens. They are refusing to sit in priority seating for the elderly in the public transportation system, many refuse to consider people elderly until they are 80 years old and they don’t like Respect for the Aged Day, reports The Yomiuri Shimbun.

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health - Opinion

Editor Disagrees with Study Predicting Mental Decline After Admitting Memory Problems

‘If noticing memory slip signals memory, cognitive decline, all my friends are on slippery slope’

By Tucker Sutherland, editor, SeniorJournal.com

Sept. 26, 2014 – Research from a reputable source finds that people who notice their memory is slipping are much more likely to develop memory and other cognitive problems. Well, there go all my senior friends and myself. At age 76, I mostly hangout with my tennis buddies and very “with it” old-time friends that I share with my wife. I don’t know of a one of us that does not occasionally complain about our memory.

Health and Medicine for Seniors

Vicodin, Other Pain Killers with Hydrocodone Will Be Harder to Get

Patients generally must present a written prescription, doctors will no longer be able to call in a prescription

By Michelle Andrews, Kaiser Health News

Sept. 26, 2014 - Patients who use drugs containing hydrocodone as a pain reliever or cough suppressant are going to have to jump through more hoops to get them starting next month.  The Drug Enforcement Administration is reclassifying so-called “hydrocodone combination products” from Schedule III to Schedule II under the Controlled Substances Act, which will more tightly restrict access. 

Medicare & Medicaid News

Several Doctors, Others Indicted in $56 Million Medicare Fraud

Operated companies in New Orleans area that purported to offer home health services and durable medical equipment to Medicare beneficiaries

Sept. 26, 2014 - A New Orleans grand jury yesterday indicted seven defendants, including three doctors for their roles in a $56 million Medicare fraud scheme that operated home health services and durable medical equipment services in New Orleans and surrounding communities.  Thirteen defendants have now been charged in this case, three of whom pleaded guilty to their conduct Wednesday. 

Features for Senior Citizens

Seniors Hold Their Own Against Poverty in 2013, Household Income Jumps

Rate of poverty in U.S. declines for first time since 2006, household income steady

Sept. 26, 2014 – There are a lot of very poor senior citizens in the U.S. – 4.2 million in poverty says the Census Bureau – but the latest look at poverty by the bureau finds the rate of poverty for seniors did not change in 2013 from the 9.5 percent in 2012.

Health and Medicine for Seniors

Glimmer of Hope in Battle Against Pancreatic Cancer

Salk scientists find that a vitamin D-derivative makes tumors vulnerable to chemotherapy. See video

Sept. 25, 2014 - A synthetic derivative of vitamin D was found by Salk Institute researchers to collapse the barrier of cells shielding pancreatic tumors, making this seemingly impenetrable cancer much more susceptible to therapeutic drugs.

Health and Medicine for Seniors

> New Skin-Like Device Warns of Cardiovascular, Skin Health Problems

Ease of use, small size may appeal to many senior citizens, frequent victims of cardiovascular problems; monitors blood flow rate

By Megan Fellman

Sept. 25, 2014 - A new wearable medical device can quickly alert a person if they are having cardiovascular trouble or if it’s simply time to put on some skin moisturizer, reports a Northwestern University and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign study supported by the National Science Foundation.

Medicare & Medicaid News

Better Understand the Criminal Risk of Using Copay Coupons in Medicare

Health and Human Services officials provide a layman’s view of how anti-kick-back law impacts senior citizens, Medicare and taxpayers

Sept. 24, 2014 – The news yesterday that senior citizens run the risk of criminal prosecution for using copay coupons to purchase brand name prescription drugs in the Medicare Part D drug program is a unique occurrence that caused concern among seniors, who most often are the least likely U.S. citizens to break the law. A better understanding of this situation and the reason for this kick-back law has been provided by the Office of Inspector General of Department of Health and Human Services and its Office of Evaluation and Inspections.

Caregiver & Elder Care News

Complicated Grief Suffered by Senior Citizens May Be Treatable

Complicated grief is serious, debilitating mental health problem associated with functional impairment, increased suicide risk

Sept. 24, 2014 – Recent research has been pointing to grief suffered by senior citizens as often having more serious consequences that for younger people. This “complicated grief” carries serious consequences and strikes about nine percent of bereaved older women. A recent test of a treatment for CG achieved a reduction in symptoms and less disease severity.

Social Security News

Young Investors More Worried than Seniors About Social Security, Retirement

Older investors have much more confidence in getting their Social Security than those under 50

Sept. 24, 2014 - The latest quarterly survey by Wells Fargo/Gallup on investor confidence has uncovered a surprising focus on the importance of Social Security in the retirement plans of U.S. investors. Most think that with Social Security they will be able to maintain their desired lifestyle throughout retirement. But older investors are much more confident than younger ones in Social Security and their adequate retirement resources.

Health and Medicine for Seniors

Most Breast Cancer Patients Who Removed Healthy Breast Would Do It Again

Women who decided against reconstructive surgery were most likely to say they would choose to have both breasts removed again in Mayo Clinic study

Sept. 24, 2014 - More women with cancer in one breast are opting to have both breasts removed to reduce their risk of future cancer. New research shows that in the long term, most have no regrets. Mayo Clinic surveyed hundreds of women with breast cancer who had double mastectomies between 1960 and 1993 and found that nearly all would make the same choice again. The findings are published in the journal Annals of Surgical Oncology.

Health and Medicine for Seniors

Diabetes Appears to be Leveling Off in U.S.

Prevalence continues to increase for some subgroups, like young adults; incidence rate up for Hispanic, black adults

Sept. 23, 2014 – The incidence and prevalence of diabetes, which doubled in the U.S. from 1990-2008 appears to have leveled off between 2008 and 2012, according to a new study in JAMA. Prevalence continued to increase at a significantly greater rate for young adults aged 20 to 44 years compared to older Americans. The incidence rate continued to increase in Hispanic and non-Hispanic black adults.

Medicare & Medicaid News

Most Want a Year of Nursing Home and Dental Coverage Added to Medicare

How to fix Medicare? Kaiser Health News asked the public

Sept. 23, 2014 – A mini-survey by Mary Agnes Carey of Capsules, the Kaiser Health News Blog, indicates that a vast majority of Americans, when asked about changes they would like to see in Medicare, want the program to add dental coverage and, secondly, a year of nursing home care.

Medicare & Medicaid News

Think Medicare Pay Rate for Doctors Favors Surgeons?

Surprising study still does not explain why proceduralists and surgeons earn much more money than primary doctors

Sept. 22, 2014 - A surprising new study pulls back the curtain on one of the most contentious issues in health care: differences in payment by Medicare and income between physicians who perform operations, procedures or tests, and those who don't.

Senior Citizen Alerts

Senior Citizens May Break Federal Law Using Drug Copay Coupons in Medicare

These discount coupons used in drug program for a specific brand name drug are considered kick-back and federal crime

By Tucker Sutherland, editor, SeniorJournal

Sept. 22, 2014 – Maybe it is much-to-do-about-nothing, but a warning – actually a “Special Advisory Bulletin” – has been issued by the Office of the Inspector General for Health and Human Services warning senior citizens not to use discount coupons from pharmaceutical manufacturers for a specific brand name drug in the Medicare Part D drug program. It is considered a kick-back and a federal offense.

 

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Medicare & Medicaid News

Drug Manufacturers Must Reform Marketing to Avoid Hurting Medicare

Current practice of ‘copay coupon’ damages Medicare Part D, can make seniors criminals

Sept. 22, 2014 – In response to the warning for senior citizens not to use brand name drug discount coupons in the Medicare Part D program, the president of the association for pharmacy benefit managers said the pharmacy manufacturers must “assure regulators that copay coupons don't induce demand for brand drugs and increase costs in public programs like Medicare.”

News for Baby Boomers

Baby Boomers Featured in New PBS Television Series Starting Tuesday

Baby boomer generation (1946-1964) has significantly and uniquely changed our world

Sept. 21, 2014 – Baby boomers – many now known as senior citizens – will be featured on a new PBS series named American Masters: The Boomer List that premiers Tuesday, September 23 at 9 p.m. eastern time. The hour-and-a-half weekly shows will tell the story of this influential generation through the lives of 19 iconic boomers - one born each year of the baby boom.

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Simple Test May Detect Your Alzheimer’s Risk Before Dementia Shows Up

Alzheimer’s group had slower reaction, movement time, as well as less accuracy, precision in their movements

Sept. 18, 2014 — If you really want to know if you are at risk for Alzheimer’s disease, York University researchers say a simple test that combines thinking and movement may reveal your risk, even before any obvious signs of dementia are obvious.

Other Media Reports

Senior Citizens Ready for War, Young Americans Less Enthusiastic

September 14, 2014 - President Obama’s plan for a military campaign against Islamic militants in Iraq and Syria is drawing public support. And, in a rare display of bipartisanship, majorities of both Republicans (64%) and Democrats (60%) approve of the president’s plan.

Greater Concern over U.S. Military Action in Iraq and Syria …The new national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted Sept. 11-14 among 1,003 adults, finds that overall, 53% approve of Obama’s plan, while 29% disapprove; 19% do not offer an opinion.

The over 65 crowd says, “go gett’em” – 61% Yes, 18% No and 21% don’t know. The military age group -18 through 29 - says, “hey, let’s think about this” – 43% Yes, 37% No and 20% don’t know. - More at Pew Research

Caregiver & Elder Care News

National Group Reduces Antipsychotic Drug Use in Nursing Homes, Sets New Goals

National Partnership, including CMS, seeks to optimize the quality of life in America’s nursing homes by improving care for all residents, especially those with dementia

September 19, 2014 – After two years of success in reducing the use of antipsychotic medications by patients in long-stay nursing home care, the National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care today established a new national goal of reducing the use by 25 percent by the end of 2015, and 30 percent by the end of 2016. The public-private coalition includes the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), consumers, advocacy organizations, providers and professional associations.

Medicare & Medicaid News

Most and Least Expensive Medicare Drug, Advantage Plans Identified for 2015

With Medicare Open Enrollment beginning on October 15, free website presents an analysis of advantage and drug plans

September 19, 2014 - HealthPocket, a website that compares and ranks all health insurance plans analyzed the release of 2015 Medicare insurance data and has a slightly different conclusion on the cost of Medicare Advantage plans than does the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. CMS sees the average premium for 2015 as $32.26, while HealthPocket sees $62.69. They may both be right. They do agree the increase in cost for the 2015 plans is very small.

Medicare & Medicaid News

Medicare Advantage Plans Growing, Small Premium Increases for 2015

Seniors will see wide range of Medicare health, drug plans when enrollment opens October 15, says CMS

September 19, 2014 - More people with Medicare will have access to higher quality Medicare Advantage (MA) plans, and for the fifth straight year, enrollment is projected to increase to a new all-time high, while premiums remain “affordable,” according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Open enrollment begins October 15.

Retirement News

Largest Expense for Most Senior Citizens is Maintaining a Home

Health care cost is number two for older Americans, reports new study

September 18, 2014 - Although health expenses increase steadily with age, and remain a cause of concern, home and home-related expenses are the largest spending category for older Americans, according to a new report by the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI).

Aging & Longevity

Dying in America is Harder Than It Has to Be – Institute of Medicine

First end-of-life conversation could coincide with a cherished American milestone of getting a driver's license at 16

By Jenny Gold, KHN Staff Writer

September 17, 2014 - It is time for conversations about death to become a part of life. That is one of the themes of a 500-page report, titled "Dying In America," released Tuesday by the Institute of Medicine. 

Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

No Time To See The Doctor? Try A Virtual Visit Online

Doctors available through LiveHealth Online designed for business travelers and busy parents; allows patients who get sick on weekend to avoid going to emergency room, too

By Anna Gorman, Kaiser Health Blog, Capsules

September 17, 2014 - Patients looking for convenient medical appointments can now see UCLA Health System doctors using their cell phones, computers or tablets.

Social Security News

Social Security to Resume Mailing Statements but Urges Online Service

With my Social Security account statements always available online

September 16, 2014 -Social Security is going to resume mailing statements to those enrolled in the program, a practice they had tried to eliminate. The agency says mailed statements will be sent about once every five years for most workers. But, SSA is still strongly urging all enrollees to create a my Social Security account online to have immediate access to their statement.

Health and Medicine for Seniors

New Statin Strategy from Lipid Association Challenges Others

Expert panel urges individualized, cholesterol-targeted approach to heart disease and stroke

By Tucker Sutherland, editor

Sept. 15, 2015 – If you thought all the controversy about statin use – a daily pill for millions of senior citizens - has been settled, you better think again. An expert panel coordinated by the National Lipid Association has created its own outline for how to best treat people at risk for cardiovascular disease and it seems to challenge several previous recommendations, including guidelines by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology.

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Many Senior Citizens Do Not Know How to Lower Dementia Risk

Alzheimer’s Society of U.K. emphasizes five simple things older people can do to avoid dementia

Sept. 14, 2014 - Alzheimer’s disease is the affliction feared most by a majority of senior citizens but a new study in the U.K. finds a surprisingly large number of seniors are unaware that it is possible to lower their risk of dementia.

Aging & Longevity

Older Men Living with Stress Die Younger

Men may live longer if they’re able to control their attitudes about everyday hassles

Sept. 10, 2014 - Older men who lead high-stress lives, either from chronic everyday hassles or because of a series of significant life events, are likely to die earlier than the average for their peers, new research from Oregon State University shows. Taking things in stride, however, appears to offer some protection.

Health and Medicine for Seniors

Diabetes Patients Have Heart Risk Other Than Cholesterol or Atherosclerosis

'It looks like diabetes may be slowly killing heart muscle in ways we had not thought of before.'

Sept. 10, 2014 – Diabetes patients are at increased risk of heart failure and cardiac death unrelated to the common culprits of cholesterol and atherosclerosis, says a new study. People with diabetes who appear otherwise healthy may have a six-fold higher risk of developing heart failure regardless of their cholesterol levels, according to this research from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Aging News & Information

Age Makes Difference in Response to Grief, Seniors Take it Harder

Critical age at which losing a loved one threatens serious harm to the immune system appears to be around age 65

Sept. 9, 2014 – The balance of our stress hormones during periods of grief changes as we age, according to a new study. For example, young people have a more robust immune response to the loss of a loved one. It is, however, more likely to result in reduced immune function in elderly people, who are then likely to suffer from infections.

Health and Medicine for Seniors

Diabetes Patients Cope with Positive Outlook, Social Support

Getting Old is Challenge Enough!

Editor's Note: Getting old is challenge enough but almost one in four senior citizens in the U.S. also has to cope with the challenges of Type 2 diabetes. Learn more about diabetes below - insert in news report.

Almost one out of every four senior citizens age 60 and over has diabetes, more than half of all U.S. adults with diabetes are seniors

By Jennifer Abbasi

Sept.9, 2014 - A positive outlook and support from people around them help patients with diabetes cope with psychosocial challenges of the disease, according to an international study that included researchers from Penn State College of Medicine. A better understanding of the emotional, psychological and social challenges people with diabetes face could improve health outcomes.

Nutrition, Vitamins & Supplements for Seniors

Older Women Reduce Stroke, Death Risks with Potassium-Rich Foods

Studied women 50 to 79 over 11 years; women who ate the most potassium were 10% less likely to die

Sept. 8, 2014 - Postmenopausal women who eat foods higher in potassium are less likely to have strokes and die than women who eat less potassium-rich foods, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke.

 

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Aging News & Information

Aging Muscles May Be Restored by Discovery of a Key to Making Muscle

Results hailed as important step toward developing new muscle to treat muscle diseases; good news for seniors with muscles wasting away from aging

Sept. 8, 2014 – Promising results have been achieved in repairing damaged tissue in muscles which could lead to a new therapeutic approach to treating the millions of people suffering from muscle diseases, including those with muscular dystrophies and muscle wasting associated with cancer and aging seniors, according to the study, published September 7 in Nature Medicine.

Caregiver & Elder Care News

Nearly Half of Senior Citizens Need Some Help with Care Needs

51% reported no difficulty in previous month, 29% reported receiving help taking care of themselves, their households or getting around

Sept. 8, 2014 - Nearly half of the senior citizens in the U.S. – 18 million people - have difficulty with daily activities or get help in managing them, according to a new study.

Retirement News

Older Americans Being Squeezed Out of Housing Market in Retirement

Study by Harvard center and AARP expresses special concern about baby boomers with lower incomes, wealth, homeownership rates and more debt than generations before

Sept. 4, 2014 - America’s older population is in the midst of unprecedented growth, but the country is not prepared to meet the housing needs of this aging group, concludes a new report released today by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies and AARP Foundation.

Aging News & Information

War Against Aging Heats Up with Calico, AbbVie Joint Effort

Google-backed Calico to create leading R&D facility in San Francisco focused on aging, age-related diseases

Sept. 4, 2014 – There was a major announcement in the war against aging yesterday as Calico, the Google-backed life sciences company, and AbbVie, a global, research-based biopharmaceutical company, announced a collaboration to discover, develop and bring to market new therapies for patients with age-related diseases, including neurodegeneration and cancer.

Features for Senior Citizens

New Digital Tablet for Older Americans Marketed by AARP

RealPad designed for older people who are still wary or apprehensive about using tablet technology

Sept. 4, 2014 - AARP, with a little help from Intel and Walmart, will bring to the market a new digital tablet – the RealPad – especially designed for Americans ages 50 and above “who are yet to fully embrace tablet technology”, to help them stay or get connected online.

 

Aging News & Information

Adults with Sleep Problems May See Brains Shrink, Especially Seniors Over 60

'Not yet known whether poor sleep quality is a cause or consequence of changes in brain structure'

Sept. 3, 2014 – Sleep difficulties may be linked to faster rates of decline in brain volume, particularly for those seniors over the age of 65, according to a study published in the September 3, 2014, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Exercise & Fitness for Senior Citizens

Men Who Exercise Least are Most Likely to Wake Up to Urinate

style="color: #595857">Those physically active one or more hours per week were 13% less likely to report nocturia, 34% less likely to report severe nocturia

Sept. 2, 2014 - Men who are physically active are at lower risk of nocturia (waking up at night to urinate), which is the most common and bothersome lower urinary tract symptom in men, reports a new study. Nocturia increases with age and is estimated to occur in more than 50 percent of men 45 and older.

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Do Not Upset Grandpa or Grandma Before Surgery, It Can Hinder Recovery

Family conflicts, other non-physical worries before colon cancer surgery raise patients’ complication risk; reducing stress speeds recovery

Sept. 2, 2014 - How well patients recover from cancer surgery may be influenced by more than their medical conditions and the operations themselves. Family conflicts and other non-medical problems may raise their risk of surgical complications, a Mayo Clinic study has found. Addressing such quality-of-life issues before an operation may reduce patients’ stress, speed their recoveries and save health care dollars, the research suggests.

Nutrition, Vitamins & Supplements for Seniors

Eating Fruit Daily Makes Significant Reduction in Cardiovascular Risk

Large study says the more fruit you eat the more the risk declines; also significantly lowers blood pressure

Sept. 2, 2014 – Eating fruit every day will reduced your risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) by up to 40 percent and the more fruit you eat the more this risk declines, suggests the results of a study of almost half a million presented to the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).

Exercise & Fitness for Senior Citizens

Fitness Clearly a Fountain of Youth for Bone and Joint Health

Decades of research show much age-related deterioration is the result of the a sedentary lifestyles and the development of medical conditions rather than of aging itself

Aug. 28, 2014 - Being physically active may significantly improve musculoskeletal and overall health, and minimize or delay the effects of aging, according to a review of the latest research on senior athletes (ages 65 and up)

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Marijuana May Halt or Slow Alzheimer’s Disease Says Florida Study

Battle Underway in Florida to Clear Marijuana for Medical Use - Seniors Lead Effort - Vote in November

THC in marijuana known to be potent antioxidant with neuroprotective properties, first report that the compound directly affects Alzheimer’s pathology by decreasing amyloid beta levels

By Anne DeLotto BaierAug. 27, 2014 – Extremely low levels of the compound in marijuana known as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, may slow or halt the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, a recent study from neuroscientists at the University of South Florida shows.

Medicare & Medicaid News

Confusion about Medicare and Marketplace Cleared up by CMS Q&A

Many seniors will be surprised by this Q&A about Medicare and the Marketplace of the Affordable Care Art

Aug. 26, 2014 - There has often been confusion for many senior citizens between Medicare and the Health Insurance Marketplace - the health insurance program for U.S. citizens who have not reached the age of Medicare eligibility, which is normally age 65. Now, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which also runs the Marketplace, is offering some help. It has issued a Q&A on the most frequent questions asked about Medicare and the Marketplace.

Medicare & Medicaid News

New Executives Named as CMS Prepares for 2015 Open Enrollment for Marketplace

Open Enrollment for Health Insurance Market place will be November 15, 2014 to February 15, 2015; coverage can start as early as January 1, 2015

Aug. 26, 2014 – A new Marketplace Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Kevin Counihan, will join the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and Lori Lodes has been named the new Director of Communications for CMS. The announcement was made by Health and Human Services Secretary Syliva M. Burwell, who is about have her first turn at steering the Health Insurance Marketplace through an open enrollment period.

Exercise & Fitness for Senior Citizens

Interest in Exercise for Recreation Declines with Age, Feel Too Old for Team Sports

Boomers building muscle at the gym but heart not in it says new Concordia study

By: Suzanne Bowness

Aug. 22, 2014 - As the first generation to embrace exercise, baby boomers continue going to the gym, yet more out of necessity than for the challenge and enjoyment of physical activity.

Nutrition, Vitamins & Supplements for Seniors

Wine Drinkers Can Cut Back a Little by Following the Half Glass Rule

Researchers looked at ways people try to control wine consumption; wine a regular daily habit for many seniors

Aug. 22, 2014 – A glass of wine – or maybe one or two more – has become an almost daily habit for many senior citizens. Many of them who are interested in cutting back a little will be interested in new research that found sticking to a rule of pouring just a half glass of wine limits the likelihood of overconsumption, even for men with a higher body mass index.


Are Your Medical Records Vulnerable to Theft?

 Aug. 21, 2014 - Here is what you need to know if your records are stored electronically (and they probably are). By Eric Whitney, Kaiser Health News


Health and Medicine for Seniors

Relief for 75 Percent of Seniors with Chronic Conditions May Come from New NIH Research

More chronic conditions means more health care services, negative outcomes, unnecessary hospitalizations, adverse drug reactions, declining functional status, and mortality

Aug. 21, 2014 - Three new research awards — totaling $19.4 million over five years — will address the growing proportion of the U.S. population that has multiple chronic medical conditions. Estimates are that almost 75 percent of senior citizens over age 65 and 1 in 15 children suffer from two or more chronic medical conditions — such as diabetes mellitus, chronic kidney disease, hypertension, and chronic pain.

Health and Medicine for Seniors

Deaths from Heart Disease and Stroke Have Plunged in Last Decade

Drop in Hospitalizations

Heart Attack -38.0%

Unstable Angina -83.8%

Heart Failure -30.5%

 Ischemic Stroke -33.6%

Rates declined more for these conditions than for any others; improved lifestyle, quality of care and prevention strategies contributed to the decrease.

Aug. 20, 2014 - U.S. hospitalizations and deaths from heart disease and stroke dropped significantly in the last decade, according to new research in the American Heart Association journal Circulation.

Caregiver & Elder Care News

New Report on Severe Hardship for Family Caregivers of Patients with Cognitive Conditions

‘All caregivers need training and support; caregivers who are responsible for people with challenging behaviors are among those most in need of assistance,’ AARP/United Hospital Fund

Aug. 20, 2014 - Family caregivers who provide complex chronic care to people who also have cognitive and behavioral health conditions face particularly demanding challenges, including high levels of self-reported depression. A majority of them (61%) reported feeling stress “sometimes to always,” between their caregiving responsibilities and trying to meet other work or family obligations, says a new report.

Medicare & Medicaid News

Government Streamlining Medicare Coverage For Cancer Test

In a clinical trial, Colorguard detected 92 percent of colorectal cancers and 42 percent of advanced adenomas, large polyps that are more likely than small polyps to lead to cancer.

By Michelle Andrews, Insuring Your Health

Aug. 19, 2014 - Medicare beneficiaries may get speedier coverage for a newly approved screening test for colorectal cancer under a pilot project in which two federal agencies reviewed the product at the same time instead of one after the other.

Medicare & Medicaid

FDA Approves First Non-Invasive DNA Screening Test for Colorectal Cancer

Cologuard vs Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT)

Cologuard detected 92% of colorectal cancers, 42% of advanced adenomas.

FIT screening  detected 74% of cancers, 24% of advanced adenomas.

Collaboration with Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services contributed to proposed Medicare coverage for Cologuard

Aug. 19, 2014 - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on August 11 approved Cologuard, the first stool-based colorectal screening test that detects the presence of red blood cells and DNA mutations that may indicate the presence of certain kinds of abnormal growths that may be cancers such as colon cancer or precursors to cancer.

Medicare & Medicaid News

Some States, Seniors Bristle at Lack of Authority Over Medicare Advantage Plans

Medicare pays private health plans - an alternative to traditional Medicare - set monthly rate per patient: about 16 million have signed up, almost one third of elderly, disabled eligible for Medicare

By Fred Schulte, The Center for Public Integrity

medical logo with dollar signHumana hit him with a bill for $6,461.66, claiming the surgery was not covered because the hospital was “out of network.”

Aug. 19, 2014 - When Minnesota retiree Doug Morphew needed surgery last year, he expected his Humana Medicare Advantage plan to step up and pay the lion’s share of the bill. Morphew said the health plan had told him over the phone he would owe just $450 for the two days he spent in a St. Paul hospital recovering from the operation to repair an aortic aneurysm. Less than a month later, however, Humana hit him with a bill for $6,461.66...

Exercise & Fitness for Senior Citizens

New Optical Imaging of Brain Confirms Arteries More Elastic in Fit Seniors

Discovery allows scientists to map pulse pressure and elasticity of arteries in the brain with optical imaging, measure aging

Aug. 19, 2014 - A new discovery can noninvasively image the pulse pressure and elasticity of the arteries of the brain, revealing correlations between arterial health and aging. Brain artery support, which makes up the cerebrovascular system, is crucial for healthy brain aging and preventing diseases like Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia.

Aging News & Information

Robin Williams Death Highlights Increase in Suicide Among Middle-aged Men

Suicide rates in middle-aged are higher than for the elderly; male baby boomers are 1.6 times more likely to kill themselves than prior generation

Aug. 19, 2014 - The death of Robin Williams has once again renewed focus on a worrying trend:  middle-aged male baby boomers who increasingly take their own lives. Julie Phillips, professor of sociology at Rutgers, notes Williams seems to have had many of the risk factors – a 63-year-old man with a history of drug addiction, alcoholism and depression who was dealing with new physical health problems.

Social Security News

Social Security Pushes My Social Security in Honor of Turning 79

This account is a tool people can used to keep up with their Social Security benefits, and more - read brief history

Aug. 18, 2014 – In honor of the 79th Anniversary of the Social Security Act, Social Security is urging Americans to establish a my Social Security account, a personalized online account, promoted as a helpful retirement planning tool.

Health and Medicine for Seniors

Too Many Senior Citizens Get Cancer Screening Says JAMA Study

Researchers examined rates of prostate, breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screening in patients 65 or older

Aug. 18, 2014 – A large number of senior citizens with limited life expectancy continue to receive routine screenings for prostate, breast, cervical and colorectal cancer, according to the authors of a study in JAMA Internal Medicine. And, they add, the procedures are unlikely to benefit them.

Senior Citizen Alerts

Most Seniors Not Aware of High Dose Flu Shot for Elderly Provided by Medicare

Flu vaccine, including high dose version, is provided at no cost to seniors covered by Medicare - vaccine finder on page

Aug. 17, 2014 – A stronger flu vaccine was created just for senior citizens. The high dose vaccine contains four times the antigens as the regular flu vaccine and is intended to create a stronger immune response for seniors, who are at greater risk of developing severe flu-related illnesses. The problem is that the majority of seniors are not aware of its importance.

Sex and Romance for Senior Citizens

Middle-Aged Women Missing Passion - and Sex - Seek Affairs, Not Divorce

Being happy in marriage is far different than being happy in bed - None of women looking to leave husband

By Sydney McKinley, American Sociological Association

Aug. 16, 2014 -  When middle-aged women seek extra-marital affairs, they are looking for more romantic passion, which includes sex — and don't want to divorce their husbands, suggests new research to be presented at the 109th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association.

 

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Health and Medicine for Seniors

Diabetes Risk Rapidly Increasing in U.S., Almost Half Adults Likely Victims

Lifetime risk for Hispanics, black women probably more than 50 percent

Aug. 13, 2014 – More than half of Hispanics and black women, and just less than half of all adults in the U.S. are projected to develop type 2 diabetes in their lifetime, according to projections from a new study in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

Caregiver & Elder Care News

One of Five Medicare Hospice Patients Discharged Alive – Is It to Save Money

Live discharge rates differ between hospice programs; when should those rates raise red flags among issues explored

Aug. 13, 2014 - About 1 in 5 Medicare patients is discharged from hospice care alive, whether due to patients' informed choice, a change in their condition, or inappropriate actions by the hospice to save on hospitalization costs related to terminal illness.

Health and Medicine for Seniors

Cognitive Problems in Senior Citizens Found as Risk for Stroke, Death

Declining memory and cognitive ability may increase the risk of stroke, death in seniors over age 65

Aug. 12, 2014 – Most senior citizens are well aware that poor cardiovascular health, including a stroke, is an important risk factor for developing cognitive impairment. New research, however, says the opposite is also true for senior citizens age 65 and older: cognitive impairment is a risk factor for having a stroke.

Medicare & Medicaid News

Medicare Advantage Plans Exaggerate Diseases of Senior Citizens to Make More Money

Suspect billing practices have been common across much of the Medicare Advantage industry and are likely to get worse unless officials crack down

By Fred Schulte, The Center for Public Integrity

Aug. 8, 2014 - Many Medicare Advantage health plans routinely overbill the government for treating elderly patients - and have done it for years, a federal study shows.

Senior Citizen Alerts

Senior Citizens Should Schedule Mentally Challenging Tasks in the Morning

Older adults have ‘morning brains’ finds study showing noticeable difference in brain function across the day

Aug. 6, 2014 - Senior citizens facing a challenge that will require their brain to be working at its best should schedule it for the morning hours. A new study finds older adults have “morning brains.” They not only perform better on demanding cognitive tasks but also activate the same brain networks responsible for paying attention and suppressing distraction as younger adults, according to Canadian researchers.

Medicare & Medicaid News

Obese Senior Citizens More Likely to Survive Deadly Sepsis Infection

Study suggest that excess weight may cause the body to respond differently to critical illness

Aug. 6, 2014 – It is not often we see good health news for fat senior citizens. The University of Michigan Health System claims, however, that obese senior citizens in Medicare were more likely to survive life-threatening sepsis infection than other patients.

Medicare & Medicaid News

Medicare Spending Cuts Also Reducing Healthcare Spending for Younger People

Medicare by far the largest payer of hospital bills in U.S., accounting for about 30% of total hospital revenues

Aug. 6, 2114 – The increased efforts by Medicare to reduce costs and improve the medical care for senior citizens and the disabled, mandated by prices under the Obamacare, appears to be reducing the total overall hospital spending. Even younger patients and insurance companies are gaining the benefits.

Health and Medicine for Seniors

Women Age 75 and Older Should Stay with Mammography Says New Study

‘There are no studies on women age 75 and older, despite the fact that they are at the highest risk for breast cancer’

Aug. 5, 2014 – There is new evidence that supports the argument for senior women – ages 75 and older – to continue in mammography screening. The research says mammography leads to earlier stage cancer diagnosis in older women, which reduces the rate of more advanced, difficult-to-treat cases.

Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health

Link Between Frailty and Dementia Gets Closer Look by New York Researchers

‘Growing consensus in the field that frailty is at the core of geriatrics, and that frailty is associated with higher rates of cognitive deficit’

Ellen Goldbaum Senior Editor, Medicine, UB News

Aug. 5, 2014 – What is the relationship between frailty and dementia? Many studies acknowledge that frailty and dementia often coexist, but little research has been done on why that is the case. Read more...

Medicare & Medicaid News

More Inspections of Medicare Hospice Programs Demanded by New House Bill

National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization backs bi-partisan bill

Aug. 5, 2014 – Just before the House of Representatives slammed the door shut to go on their August recess, a bi-partisan bill was introduced that will require “more timely” surveys of Medicare-certified hospice care programs, according to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO).

Medicare & Medicaid News

Medicare Rule on Hospital Pay Wants Charges Public, Emphasis on Better Care

Rule updates Medicare payment policies and rates for inpatient stays at general acute care, long-term care hospitals

Aug. 4, 2014 – A final rule that updates Medicare payment policies and rates for inpatient stays at general acute and long-term care hospitals (LTCHs) for FY 2015 was issued today. The provision that will grab the attention of seniors supports price transparency by emphasizing the Obamacare requirement that hospitals most make their charges available to patients and the public. Hospital administrators may pay more attention, however, to mandated improvements in the quality of care that limit payment for hospital acquired conditions (HACs) and readmissions.

Health and Medicine for Seniors

Lung Cancer Diagnosis Tool Found Safe, Effective for Senior Citizens

Correct assessment of the stage of a patient's cancer – how much tumor has grown and spread – is key to ensuring they receive the right treatment

Aug. 4, 2014 - Half of all lung cancer patients are over 70 years old when first diagnosed, but studies have shown that these older patients are less likely to receive an accurate diagnosis. A recent study has found that a procedure to take tissue samples from these patients can be used safely in the elderly - allowing doctors to make a more accurate diagnosis and to choose appropriate treatment. Read more...

Medicare & Medicaid News

Patient-Centered Medical Homes Reduce Costs for Medicare Patients

Medicare costs for patients receiving care from PCMHs grew slower than for other Medicare patients, rates for emergency room visits, acute care hospitalizations lower, too

By Stephanie Stephens, HBNS Contributing Writer

Learn more about PCMH care below news report. See video, too.

Aug. 1, 2014 - The patient-centered medical home (PCMH), introduced in 2007, is a model of health care that emphasizes personal relationships, team delivery of care, coordination across specialties and care settings, quality and safety improvement, and open access. As the number of PCMHs has increased, a new report in the journal Health Services Research finds the model offers a promising option to reduce health care costs and utilization of some health care services.

Medicare & Medicaid News

Medicare Drug Plan Premiums Up $1 Next Year, More Reports on Low Medicare Costs

Unprecedented low levels of growth in Medicare spending, continued savings for seniors citizens

Aug. 1, 2014 - The average premium for a basic Medicare Part D prescription drug plan in 2015 will increase by about $1, to an estimated $32 per month, continuing its historically low growth rate. This projection by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) comes on the heels of the 49th anniversary of the signing of Medicare and Medicaid into law.


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