With most major health systems using patient portals for scheduling COVID-19 vaccinations, many older adults may need help setting up accounts. This situation is considered especially true for those older people with lower incomes and education levels, according to data from the National Poll on Healthy Aging at the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation.
Food insecurity — when people lack access to food or go hungry due to poverty or other challenges — remains a serious problem for many older adults. A new study finds that more than 25% of people with both Medicaid and Medicare, the dual eligibles, said they were food insecure. Among all older adults in the survey, food insecurity was most common (6.2%) in those 75 to 84; it was least common (4.8%) in adults 85 and older.
Social issues such as hunger, inadequate housing, social isolation and poverty are linked to poor health, especially as we age. Continue reading
Journalists covering the COVID-19 vaccine rollout should watch out on Jan. 21 for the Ad Council’s unveiling of an advertising campaign to increase the public confidence getting vaccinated.
The nonprofit group, which led the advertising campaign to garner public support for the polio vaccine in the 1950s, plans to focus especially on communities of color, which polls show are skeptical of the vaccine. Continue reading
Given all the concern about the failure of rural hospitals, it may seem counterintuitive that some hospitals in rural America may need to close. In multipart series for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, investigative news reporter Yamil Berard found last year that some rural hospitals in Georgia had serious deficiencies.
Those deficiencies included significantly low occupancy rates, stiff competition from other hospitals, dwindling populations in their service areas, poor management and faulty decision-making, she reported. Continue reading
Valerie Montgomery Rice, M.D., is afraid of needles. Nevertheless, she agreed to receive her coronavirus vaccine on national television last Friday, along with CNN’s Sanjay Gupta, M.D.
Rice, who is dean of Atlanta’s Morehouse School of Medicine, knows the history of racism in medical research and understands some Black Americans’ reluctance to get the vaccine. As CNN’s Nicquel Terry Ellis reported, Rice trusts the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and would not recommend it if she did not trust it. To emphasize the point, Rice noted that Black scientists and doctors played significant roles in developing the vaccine and reviewing Pfizer’s FDA application for approval. Continue reading
A multi-partisan discussion of criminal justice reform — among Democrats, Republicans and billionaire philanthropists ranging from the libertarian Koch Brothers to the liberal George Soros, who are financing reform efforts — includes the question of what to do about people with mental illnesses who wind up behind bars, including for minor, non-violent offenses.
In its most recent report, released in 2017, the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics reported that 14% of a yearly count of roughly 2.3 million convicted state and federal prisoners and 26% of jailed pre-trial detainees “met the threshold for serious psychological distress.” By comparison, during that same period, mental illness had been diagnosed in 5% of the U.S. population of comparable race, age and gender of those incarcerated persons. Continue reading