Family inHome Caregiving Blog
Trump’s plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act is a frightening piece of legislation for hospitals across the country. Josh Sharfstein, a pediatrician who was formerly the top health official for the city of Baltimore and the state of Maryland says that the money hospitals are receiving under the Affordable Care Act keeps hospitals afloat. “It’s underappreciated how much the ACA has focused the health care system on delivering a higher quality of care. This could easily be lost,” said Sharfstein, now a professor and associate dean at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “The consequences of hospitals being under financial distress including closing altogether, stopping particular services that may be very necessary to the community and struggling to maintain quality of care,” he said. All of the major hospital trade groups, including the American Hospital Association have publicly come out against the legislation being considered now in Congress.
We all know that eating a diet high in fiber is good for us and can prevent heart disease. A study which was published in the Journal of Nutrition (10/26/16) found that eating high-fiber foods, particularly whole grains, can prevent gum disease. Those in the study who consumed less than 12 grams of fiber per day were 27%more likely to have moderate to severe gum disease than those who ate more than the recommended 23 grams daily. An apple with the skin on it has about 4 grams of fiber, while a slice of whole-wheat bread has about 2 grams. A cup of cooked lentils has a massive 16 grams. Eat healthy and prevent heart and gum disease!
It’s depressing to hear from your physician that you need to go on statins in order to reduce your cholesterol but it has been found that there are added benefits above and beyond lowering your blood pressure by going on statins. Researchers analyzed the Medicare records of nearly 400K beneficiaries and found that the Alzheimer’s risk was 15% lower for women and 12% lower for men who used statins daily, compared with those who used them less often or started them later in the five year study period. There were also differences found between different statins in the study, which was published in the journal JAMA Neurology (online version 12/12/16). Some lowered the risk in all races while others effected only white women.
The Alzheimer’s Association will host its 4th annual Alzheimer’s Latino Conference in San Jose on April 8th at the Mayfair Community Center. Free breakfast and lunch will be provided at the forum which is free and open to anyone interested in expanding their understanding of Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia. You will learn about updated research, support for family caregivers, sleep as well as tips on brain health and stress management
The Alliance on Aging is now scheduling appointments across the county to prepare taxes for seniors. Highly qualified volunteers are ready to help you out with this complex process. Please call Marible at 646-5040 to schedule an appointment. They are also looking for volunteers so if you have tax preparation experience give Sarah Guzman a call at 655-1334.
It’s been known for years that people who have good friends and strong social support tend to live longer than those who are isolated. But will being an active Facebook user increase your life span? The answer is yes, according to research commissioned by Facebook. Scientists did a three-year study on Facebook users starting in 2010 and found that receiving requests to connect as friends online was positively correlated with longevity. In addition, people who posted photos indicating that they were spending time with other people face-to-face also were predicted to live longer. To find out more, read the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, posted online on October 31, 2016.
As Trump is busy trying to get the Affordable Care Act repealed, a company called RubiconMD is moving forward with its innovative plan that offers general practitioners the ability to e-Consult with specialists around the country without having the patient travel hundreds and sometimes even thousands of miles to get the best care. The company uses telematics to verify a diagnosis and confirm patient treatment and its platform was recently endorsed by the prestigious Zuckerberg Hospital in San Francisco. The company is currently operating in 32 states, serving health centers, company clinics and insurance companies. In 2016, just three years after launching, it was used to either diagnose or treat 1 million patients. The cost for a physician to subscribe is a flat fee of $250 a month. “I think the mission of making access to healthcare more democratic is more relevant than ever, given this new framework,” co-founder Carlos Reines told a reporter. “But even during Obama’s presidency, millions of patients had problems accessing specialists due to waiting lists, co-payments they couldn’t afford and trouble paying for transport. These problems are even more acute amongst the poorest Americans and that is where RubiconMD can have the biggest impact,” he said. What a great idea for a medical start-up.
The prescription drug market has gotten hypercompetitive in a number of categories which has caused spending on commercials in this category to grow by a hefty 62% since 2012, while ad spending in most other segments has been flat. Heavy on drug ads are the major network’s nightly news programs, Mike & Molly and General Hospital, according to Kantar Media. This enormous jump has caused alarm from some as most are promoting high-priced drugs, some of which doctors say have limited practical utility to the average patient-viewer. Critics complain that the commercials encourage patients to ask their doctor for expensive drugs that are fueling high health care spending in our nation. The American Medical Association called for a complete ban on these ads in 2015, saying “direct-to-consumer advertising also inflates demand for new and more expensive drugs, even when these drugs may not be appropriate.” However, they didn’t get any traction and drug advertising is likely here to stay. Don’t be influenced by these ads, have a heart-to-heart talk with your doctor to find out what drugs are right for you
I always thought that sleeping in was good for you but researchers say no! A new study found that older adults who sleep more than nine hours a night after not doing so when they were younger more than doubled their risk of developing dementia a decade later. The increased risk was not seen in those who had always slept that much each night. The researchers suggest that as Alzheimer’s-related changes occur in the brain, people may inadvertently sleep longer as their bodies attempt to remove abnormalities, although additional research on the subject is needed. However, some think that excess sleep could be an early warning sign of dementia coming on.
The Congressional Budget Office has completed their analysis of the pending TrumpCare bill, and they have found that it will increase the number of Americans without health insurance by 14 million next year, rising to 24 million by 2026. The bill will take $337 billion off of the federal budget, with $144 billion of that flowing back to those with incomes over $1 million in the form of tax cuts. The Trump administration immediately denounced the report. “We disagree strenuously with the report that was put out,” Tom Price, the secretary of health and human services, said from The White House. Democrats, of course cheered the report. It is likely to cause further division in the Republican party, which has been waiting to see if the report would show that no Americans would lose health care coverage under the repeal and replace plan, as President Trump claims. Senator Susan Collins (Republican, Maine) said the report was cause for alarm and “should prompt the House to slow down and reconsider certain provisions of the bill.”