Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sickness in Health Care

When you read a lot of health care news (as I do) there are times you run across really sickening stories. Today I read about a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine done with Harvard University and Dartmouth Medical School researchers about dementia patient care. It seems that almost 20% of hospitalizations by nursing homes may have been motivated not by their concerns over patient health but simply by money.

It seems Medicare pays three times more for nursing homes to care for patients after brief hospitalizations. The transfer rate varied from just 2% in Alaska to 37% in Louisiana. In McAllen, Texas 26% of the study participants had multiple trips to the hospital for conditions that can easily be treated in a nursing home like urinary infections, pneumonia and dehydration. Only 1% of the patients in Grand Junction, Colorado were transferred to hospitals for the same conditions.

For some nursing homes to take advantage of the weakest and sickest in our society speaks volumes about the state of our health care system. Too often it's all about the money, not the people.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Rising Costs

This isn't going to come as a surprise to anyone paying for health insurance today, but the costs continue to rise. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation family plan premiums are now up to $15,073 on average, an increase of 9%. This is triple the growth just last year.

Increases for single employees grew 8% to $5,429 per year. Premium increases have had a starring role in the ongoing health care debate. Before the new health care law the insurance company WellPoint tried to raise rates in California by 39%.

All of this while America has an unemployment rate over 9%. Some reports put the unemployment rate for men 44-62 at 25% or above Great Depression levels.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fun & Fit Interview Airs Starting Today

My latest interview was on the Fun & Fit show on WomensRadio which started airing today. It really was a lot of fun to talk with identical twins Kymberly and Alexandra, they really do enjoy being radio stars!

When you check out their website be sure to click on their Facebook fan page to enter the contest to win a free autographed copy of my book.