Category Archives: Aging

Federal information blocking rule: What health care journalists need to know

About Cheryl Clark

Cheryl Clark (@CherClarHealth) is a MedPage Today contributor and inewsource.org investigative journalist. For most of 27 years, she covered medicine and science for the San Diego Union-Tribune. After taking a buyout in 2008, she became senior quality editor for HealthLeaders Media.

Photo by Juhan Sonin via Flickr.

With so much focus — and rightly so — on COVID-19, it’s understandable that even the best health care journalists have overlooked a critically important patient safety story, one that few I know had even heard about.

On April 5, 2021, the federal Information Blocking rule went into effect, allowing basically anyone who provides health care, “defined as “actors,” to release electronic health records in 16 categories such as summary visit notes, lab and pathology reports, and imaging studies to the patient’s health portal as soon as they are available electronically. According to the rule, that means even before the doctor has had a chance to review them, and before the provider has had a chance to explain or discuss what’s in those documents with the patient. Talk about a huge culture shift. Continue reading

Biden’s bid for a nursing home vaccine mandate faces obstacles

About Kerry Dooley Young and Liz Seegert

Kerry Dooley Young is an independent journalist and AHCJ's core topic leader on patient safety. Liz Seegert, based in New York City, is AHCJ’s topic leader on aging.

Photo: Wyoming National Guard via Flickr

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the second in a series about the Biden Administration’s efforts to increase COVID-19 vaccination rates among nursing home workers. For the first story see: Federal funds at stake as Biden Administration seeks to require vaccines for nursing home workers

The Biden administration likely will face challenges in trying to implement a planned mandate for COVID-19 vaccinations for staff of nursing homes, despite efforts to portray this proposal as a done deal. Continue reading

Federal funds at stake as Biden Administration seeks to require vaccines for nursing home workers

About Liz Seegert and Kerry Dooley Young

Liz Seegert, based in New York City, is AHCJ’s topic leader on aging. Kerry Dooley Young is an independent journalist and AHCJ's core topic leader on patient safety.

Photo: Maryland GovPics via Flickr

Is a new push by the Biden Ad­min­i­stra­tion to increase COVID-19 vaccinations among nursing home workers the right approach? While patient, resident and industry advocates are mostly supportive, others are alarmed by even the vague outline of the rule recently announced by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

President Biden asked CMS to issue an emergency declaration on August 18 to mandate that workers at the nation’s more than 15,000 nursing homes that receive Medicare and Medicaid dollars get the COVID-19 vaccine or put the facility’s federal funding at risk. Continue reading

New poll looks at fall risk during the COVID-19 pandemic

About Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic leader on aging. Her work has appeared in NextAvenue.com, Journal of Active Aging, Cancer Today, Kaiser Health News and other outlets. She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement at George Washington University and co-produces the HealthCetera podcast.

Photo by Neil Moralee via Flickr.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to serious long-term health effects — ranging from heart problems to ongoing brain fog. Now, we can add decreased mobility and increased fall risk among older adults, according to a new poll.

The National Poll on Healthy Aging uncovered some worrying indicators: 25% of older adults experienced a fall between the start of the pandemic in March 2020 and January 2021, when the poll was conducted. Forty percent of those who experienced a fall had more than one fall during this period. The CDC cites falls as the leading cause of injury and death among those 65 and older. We know that reduced physical conditioning and fear of falling may increase future fall risk and reduce independence. Continue reading

Disease-awareness campaigns merit extra scrutiny, experts say

About Kerry Dooley Young and Liz Seegert

Kerry Dooley Young is an independent journalist and AHCJ's core topic leader on patient safety. Liz Seegert, based in New York City, is AHCJ’s topic leader on aging.

Image by Alvin Gogineni, Genentech via NIH Image Gallery on Flickr

Image by Alvin Gogineni, Genentech via NIH Image Gallery on Flickr

This is part 2 of a package on sponsored disease awareness campaigns and other controversial drug marketing practices, focusing on Biogen’s efforts to build a market for its recently approved drug for Alzheimer’s disease. Check out part 1, which posted on August 4.

Biogen’s marketing campaigns about mild cognitive impairment drew protests from several physicians, but don’t expect federal regulators to more strictly regulate such ads and similar disease-awareness promotions.

Neither the FDA nor the FTC actively monitors claims made in pharmaceutical marketing about medical conditions if the name of a medicine isn’t mentioned. Continue reading