How can older adults save money on the high cost of prescription medication? It could be as simple as talking to their doctor or pharmacist — but a new survey finds that many aren’t having that conversation, and therefore not getting the help they need to find lower-cost solutions. Continue reading
The average price of brand-name prescription drugs rose almost 130 times faster than inflation in 2015 — 15.5 percent compared with 0.1 percent. New data points to increasing medication affordability problems for older adults, putting many of them at risk, according to a new report.
Researchers from the AARP Public Policy Institute studied trends in the retail prices of 268 brand name drugs widely used by older Americans between 2006 and 2015. Continue reading
Medications — including many over-the-counter drugs — are among the greatest contributors to accelerated cognitive decline in older adults, according to experts at the recent Gerontological Society of America conference in Orlando, Fla. Yet, they are probably the most frequent reversible contributor to adverse cognitive events. Continue reading
A new report from the The United Hospital Fund and AARP Public Policy Institute finds that spouses who act as the primary family caregiver routinely perform complex medical and nursing tasks without adequate in-home support from health care professionals, especially when compared with non-spousal family caregivers.
Eighty-four percent of spousal care recipients received no professional health care on site, compared to 65 percent of non-spousal care recipients. Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of spouses who are caregivers perform many of the tasks that health care professionals do – such as medication management, wound care, using meters and monitors, compared to 42 percent of nonspousal caregivers.
Compounding the challenge, spouses were also less likely to receive help from family or friends or home care aides: 58 percent of the spouses reported no additional help from others, compared to 20 percent of nonspouses. Continue reading
It was worth the wait to attend one of the last sessions on the last day of Health Journalism 2013.
Data mining is one of those topics that can make the audience’s eyes glaze over, but the energy level in the room was high as the audience learned how two Boston Globe reporters used publicly accessible records to expose widespread overmedication of Massachusetts nursing home residents, resulting in a highly acclaimed front-page series.
Health reporter Kay Lazar led a panel which included her colleague, reporter Matt Carroll, and Patricia Fried, a consultant to lawyers investigating nursing home wrongdoing, subcontractor to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and experienced nursing home director.
Discovering the truth about nursing home residents’ quality of life can be challenging, Lazar said. However, once you understand what to look for and how to analyze the data, it unearths a wealth of information, and many potential story ideas. Much of the analysis conducted by Lazar and Carroll came from statements of deficiency (SOD) forms submitted to CMS by nursing home surveyors, also known as inspectors. Continue reading