When a head-on bicycling crash with an SUV crushed my spine and left me a paraplegic in 2011, I found very little inspiration from my very broken body. That is, until I realized how my broken body could be the impetus to help fix America’s broken home care system.
The current medical reimbursement landscape is changing and is being heavily
influenced by a patient-centric model. The key: keep individuals healthy while not
needing to readmit them into hospitals. It is now a well-documented reality in modern
civilization that medication prolongs, and in many cases, saves lives. However, the sad
truth today is that roughly half of the prescriptions written in the United States go unfilled
every year, which leads to the inference that this rate is much higher in the developing
– Many patients are simply unaware that their medicine is due for a refill
– The pharmacy or physician never informs them
– Patient decides on an alternative medication therapy
As a result, all too many individuals go without potentially lifesaving medication on a
daily basis, and this is a tragedy of the system as it currently stands.
A report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation shows that “One in eight Medicare
patients were readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of being released after
surgery in 2010, while one in six patients returned to the hospital within a month of
leaving the hospital after receiving medical care. Patients were not significantly less
likely to be readmitted in 2010 than in 2008.” Furthermore, this report points out that
many readmissions can be avoided.
USNews and World Report stated in 2015 that “Half of U.S. Hospitals Face Medicare’s
Readmission Penalties” and that “Hospitals that readmit patients within a month of their
discharge face penalties under Medicare that cost them more than $400 million.”
This can all change with the rapid implementation of the pharmacy electronic medical records. Read more…
Keeping Seniors At Home
I have created a survey of technology, low and high, readily available that affords greater independence to seniors in their daily lives. You can see it at Keeping Seniors at Home with Help of Technology. These technologies provide safety to them as well as comfort to those that care for them. They are, by and large, affordable and will emerge as a democratizing force in the society. At this moment, aide is available for the poorest (vis-à-vis the entitlement structure) and the wealthiest. However, a great mass of American elders fall into a gap wherein they emerge receiving sub-par care, live lives with greater risk than necessary or are forced out of their homes to institutions that otherwise would not be indicated.
-Mark Zilberman, LCSW
The Personal Document Locator is a detailed list of where one stores their important records, the contact information for primary advisors, family members, trustees and other important information. The list should be updated at least once a year to ensure its accuracy.
The list will be most helpful in the event of disability or death.
Please contact me at [email protected] should you have any suggestions or comments.
Perry A. Shulman, CPA
Anne Basting is a theater artist and educator demonstrating the potential of storytelling and creative expression to improve the lives of elders experiencing cognitive impairment. Across a variety of formats and platforms—theater, memoir, narrative, collaborative public performance, and academic research—Basting has developed an alternative concept of aging, one that focuses on its possibilities as well as its challenges and views sustained emotional connections as critical to our well-being as we age.