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Category archives for: Elderly Care & Medicare

Florida Hospitals in Flagler and Volusia Anchor 3-Year Project to Improve Lung Cancer Care

| September 13, 2016

The ACCC Optimal Care Coordination Model for Lung Cancer Patients on Medicaid project will work to reduce barriers to care by developing a care coordination model to leverage effective partnerships among cancer programs and practices, community organizations, patients, and primary care and specialty providers.

“A Hair Between Sanity and Insanity”: Pehota’s Anguished Account of Killing Husband Marks 1st Trial Day

| July 20, 2016

A video interview of Pehota describing the killing of her husband and the circumstances surrounding it underscored the first day of her trial. She faces a second-degree murder charge. Nothing happened today to shake an aura of sympathy–even empathy–around Pehota.

In Jury Selection for Anna Pehota Trial, Pronounced Sympathies for the Killer

| July 18, 2016

Anna Pehota, 76, facing a second-degree murder charge for shooting her husband in the Hammock last September, is benefiting from inherent sympathy going into her trial, which began with jury selection Monday and starts in earnest Wednesday.

You’re Dying. But Most Doctors Don’t Know How to Tell You.

| April 17, 2016

Policy experts are urging more end-of-life conversations not just to accommodate patients’ desires, but to save money on aggressive medical interventions that patients and their families don’t want and that won’t prolong life.

Nurse Assistants at Grand Oaks Rehab Strike for $15/hr Wage in Echo of National Movement

| April 14, 2016

Workers at Grand Oaks Rehab Center in Palm Coast, most on poverty wages, walked out for 24 hours, though they’d given the facility almost two weeks’ notice and replacements ensured no residents lacked care.

Hear Us Roar, Older Residents Tell Palm Coast Council as They Clamor for a Senior Center

| April 12, 2016

But the Palm Coast City Council is cool to the idea of a dedicated senior center: it has an active community center on Palm Coast Parkway and is ramping up uses of its new city hall’s community wing.

Sedated We Stand: Medicare Paid for Nearly 40 Million Tranquilizer Prescriptions in 2013

| June 12, 2015

Florida had more doctors who prescribed large amounts of benzodiazepines than anywhere else in the country with some 144 Florida doctors wrote at least 2,000 prescriptions for them to Medicare patients.

Opposing “Medicaid in Disguise,” Florida House Set to Kill Senate Health Plan Friday

| June 4, 2015

For all of its new provisions, House Republicans said, the so-called Florida Health Insurance Affordability Exchange, or FHIX, remains Medicaid expansion in disguise.

Senate Approves Health Plan to Resolve Budget Impasse, But House Remains Unmoved

| June 3, 2015

Gov. Rick Scott and House Republican leaders staunchly oppose the legislation, which helped grind budget negotiations to a halt earlier this year and spark a special session currently underway.

Elder Abuse: A Huge, Expensive and Lethal Problem

| May 31, 2015

There is little doubt that elder abuse is growing, driven by growth in the elderly population. To address it, some governments are training police and social workers to investigate it.

Assisted Suicide In Your Back Yard: More Prevalent Than You Think

| May 23, 2015

People don’t talk about it, but assisted suicide happens in states where it’s not legal. Just over 3 percent of U.S. doctors said they have written a prescription for life-ending medication, and almost 5 percent reported giving a patient a lethal injection.

Flu Visits to Flagler ER Spike 33% Over Last Season, But Officials Aren’t Calling It an Epidemic

| January 7, 2015

Flu visits to the ER were especially pronounced in November. They leveled off a bit in December. But the first week of January saw the numbers spike again, especially compared to last year,

Prominent Central Florida Cardiologist Asad Qamar Is Sued for Medicare Fraud

| January 6, 2015

Central Florida cardiologist Asad Qamar, who claims to have 23,000 patients, is the target of two lawsuits accusing him of systematic Medicare fraud, including padding bills and performing unnecessary procedures.

Medicare Penalties Hit 31 Florida Hospitals Over High Infection Rates; FHF Spared

| December 29, 2014

In its toughest crackdown yet on medical errors, the federal government is cutting payments to 721 hospitals – including 31 in Florida — for having high rates of infections and other patient injuries.

Regrettable Holiday Ritual: Spike in Calls to Alzheimer’s Hotline as Families Grasp Changes

| November 29, 2014

Visiting with relatives over the holidays may raise questions about the physical and cognitive health of family members. Although some change in cognitive ability can occur with age, serious memory problems are not a part of normal aging. Recognizing the difference between normal aging and more serious problems can help you identify when it may be time for you to make the call or see a doctor.

Flagler Sheriff’s Deputy Tasers 80-Year-Old Man With Dementia: He Was Wielding a Knife

| October 3, 2014

A Flagler County Sheriff’s deputy on Thursday used his Taser stun gun against an 80-year-old man suffering from dementia as the man refused to put down a butcher knife as he sat in his back porch. The man had earlier allegedly threatened members of his family.

Nursing Home Surveillance: Should You Be Able to Spy On Your Grandma’s Caretakers?

| September 29, 2014

Illinois may be about to join at least four other states that have laws or regulations allowing residents to maintain cameras in nursing home patients’ rooms. Florida is not among them.

Bright Spot in Florida’s Budget:
A Forward-Looking Agenda on Alzheimer’s

| June 9, 2014

Alzheimer’s is the most costly disease to Medicare and Medicaid — and for a state like Florida with high ratios of older residents, this spells an impending crisis for state budgets. Gov. Rick Scott signed a record-sized state budget that included record-sized wins for the Alzheimer’s community.

California Sharply Improves Regulatory Oversight of Assisted-Living Facilities

| January 22, 2014

The wide-ranging array of proposed regulations would mandate annual inspections of the facilities and increase the size of financial penalties that the state can levy for failures in care. The proposals would also step up mandatory training for assisted living employees, require facilities to employ registered nurses in some instances and demand that California post inspection results online for the public to review.

Fire Demolishes House in Painter’s Hill and Jumps A1A to Island Estates Before It’s Stopped

| November 24, 2013

A fire that started at about 3:15 this afternoon in a vacant, two-level house at 3518 North A1A, in Painter’s Hill, was fueled by 40 mph winds off the ocean and had quickly engulfed the structure in flames by the time firefighters arrived at the scene.

Assisted Living Facilities Beware: State Looking to Shut Down Unlicensed Operations

| October 9, 2013

A Florida Senate panel Tuesday instructed the Agency for Health Care Administration to draft legislation — fast — that would allow the state to shut down unlicensed assisted-living facilities as quickly as possible.

How Mom’s Death Changed My Thinking About End-of-Life Care

| March 2, 2013

None of his years of reporting had prepared Charles Ornstein for this moment, this decision–whether, and when, to let his mother die. In fact, he began to question some of his assumptions about the health-care system.

From Bankruptcy to Granny Nannies: Navigating the Shoals of Long-Term Care

| February 27, 2013

Long-term care insurance is expensive, but the costs of long-term care are far more so. The experiences of local residents and businesses contending ding with reality almost everyone will eventually face illustrate the dilemmas of aging in a society with a meager safety net. A special report.

The Missing Link in Ever-Rising Health Care Costs: Personal Responsibility

| February 7, 2013

Car insurance costs go down when drivers drive responsibly for a few years. A similar approach to health care could help bring costs down, but first, Milissa Holland argues, people must take responsibility for their own health and lifesrtyles–and the way they seek out medical help: the ER is usually not the answer.

Medicare Advantage Works As Long As You’re Healthy, But Boots Off Neediest Patients

| February 4, 2013

People leaving medicare Advantage for traditional Medicare are have higher levels of significant health problems, fueling concerns that the private plans cater to more profitable, healthy beneficiaries but don’t provide the most attractive care for the very ill.

For Children’s Advocates, Scott’s “Florida Families First” Budget Blurs Reactions

| February 2, 2013

Backers of early childhood education and an expansion of Medicaid were disappointed, educators were guardedly happy about raises, and others applauded more money for prevention services to keep youths out of the juvenile justice system, plus $145,360 for juvenile health and mental health.

Spying on Grandma: Health Companies Sell Surveillance as a Benefit and a Saving

| January 10, 2013

Health care is joining a national trend toward greater surveillance of everyday life. Whether this costly technology will ultimately prove clinically or economically effective remains uncertain. So, too, is whether a benign health care purpose can help overcome the unsettling “Big Brother” overtones.

One-Fifth of Florida’s Nursing Homes Are On the State’s Watch List for Violations

| January 7, 2013

Twelve of the homes have been on the the state Agency for Health Care Administration’s watch list for more than 100 days. The best way to pick a home for a loved one is to simply visit it, or to check a nursing home inspection database (link included).

Quality Concerns as Florida Medicaid Moves Millions of Poor and Elderly to Managed Care

| January 3, 2013

Senior said much of the state’s negotiations with federal officials have focused on safeguards to make sure that Medicaid’s new Florida version would be based on providing services in people’s homes and communities and would not be a “nursing home light” system..

Seniors Are Overspending on Medicare’s Prescription Drug Plan

| October 11, 2012

Seniors spent on average $368 more than they needed to on drug coverage through Medicare Part D plans, their decisions complicated by the sheer volume of plans available–1,736 in all–and difficulties involved in determining what makes a plan a good choice, a Health Affairs study finds.

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