Author Archives: Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert

About Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic editor on aging. Her work has appeared in Kaiser Health News, The Atlantic.com, New America Media, AARP.com and other outlets. She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health, Media & Policy at Hunter College in New York City, and co-produces HealthStyles for WBAI-FM/Pacifica Radio.

Award-winning reporter explains how she followed the nursing home money trail

Photo: Binomialphoto via Flickr

There’s a reason why Kay Lazar wins awards for her coverage of Massachusetts’ health care industry – she does it better than perhaps anyone else on the beat.

Lazar is again a recipient of an AHCJ’s Excellence in Health Care Journalism Award, this time winning third place in beat reporting for her body of work on the Bay State’s nursing home industry. In a new How I Did It article for AHCJ, she zooms in on one of her stories, which followed the Medicaid money trail via the reports nursing homes must make to state regulators. Continue reading

New tip sheet helps explain why AHCA, Medicaid matter to seniors

Image by Alex via flickr.

The future of Medicaid – the health program for low-income adults, children and seniors – is now in the hands of the Senate. The American Health Care Act, as passed by the House, would convert the program from an open-ended one to block grants, providing a fixed amount per recipient, regardless of health costs. The bill also caps future program spending. If the bill passes, Medicaid faces more than $800 billion in cuts over 10 years.

That’s bad news for the 70 million people enrolled in the program, including about 9 million dual eligibles – those covered by both Medicare and Medicaid. These are the most vulnerable, often sickest older adults, who struggle to afford food, medicine, and manage their chronic conditions. Continue reading

New tip sheet provides overview of Parkinson’s disease

Photo: Peter T. via FlickrLegendary boxer Muhammad Ali, shown after receiving the 2012 Liberty Medal in Philadelphia, Pa., had lived with Parkinson’s disease for more than 30 years before dying in 2016 at age 74.

We probably all know at least one older person who has developed Parkinson’s disease, a degenerative neurological condition which affects one in every hundred people over age 60.

A small proportion (about 4 percent) of adults under age 50 can develop it too. The National Institutes of Health estimates that one million people in the United States are living with this condition. As the population ages, incidence will likely increase, putting more pressure on the health system at a time when funding for federal health and science programs and research is under pressure.

Parkinson’s affects a person’s movement, speech, cognition, balance and behavior. There is no known cure, nor can symptoms be reversed, though they can be managed through a regimen of multiple medications and therapy. The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation estimates direct and indirect costs of the disease in the United States at around $25 billion annually. Continue reading

New report: More support needed for male caregivers

Photo: Fairfax County via Flickr

Men now make up about 40 percent of all family caregivers, but a new report says most are not reaching out for emotional support or even recognizing their role as a caregiver.

Some 16 million adult men are caring aging or ill parents or spouses, and nearly two-thirds of them (63 percent) are the primary caregiver. That is up from 34 percent just eight years ago. More than half (54 percent) say it is hard to help their loved one with certain activities of daily living (ADL) like bathing, feeding, or dressing, according to Breaking Stereotypes: Spotlight on Male Family Caregivers from AARP. Many say they have a hard time finding resources specifically tailored to their needs. Continue reading

Experienced freelancers provide valuable tips, advice

Photo: Pia Christensen/AHCJEmily Gurnon, an editor with PBS Next Avenue, urges attendees to do research on the publications they pitch to. Michele Cohen Marill (right), an independent journalist in Atlanta, moderated the session.

Ah, the freelance life. Sleeping until noon. Working in your pajamas. Picking and choosing just the right assignments that appeal to and massage your fragile ego…

NOT!

As anyone who has done it can attest, being a freelance journalist is hard. And complicated. And just like staff jobs, there are rules, protocols, and methodologies to follow. Continue reading