A study led by Halima Amjad and co-authors John Mulcahy, Judith Kasper, Julia Burgdorf, David Roth, Ken Covinsky, and Jennifer Wolff in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society examined a nationally representative cohort of older adults with disabilities. Increased risk of hospitalization at 12 months was associated with having a primary caregiver who helped with healthcare tasks, reported physical strain, and provided more than 40 hours of care weekly. The findings suggest that hospitalization risk reduction strategies may benefit from understanding and addressing caregiving circumstances. Read more
Hearing loss affects approximately 1 in 5 Americans aged 12 years or older. Prevalence is highest among older adults; two-thirds of Americans aged 70 years and older have hearing loss. Hearing loss is associated with numerous negative health and quality-of-life outcomes, including cognitive decline, dementia, falls, depression, social isolation, hospitalizations, readmissions, and higher health care costs. Studies have shown the impact of hearing loss on patient-clinician communication, indicating it likely impedes effective care provision. Although there are many reasons for Medicaid programs to cover hearing aids and related services, the up-front cost of including this benefit can create barriers....Read More
Hearing loss affects an estimated two thirds of Americans aged 70 years and older, but Medicare currently excludes hearing aids and related services from coverage and many state Medicaid programs do not yet provide coverage of hearing aids for adults. A JAMA Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery viewpoint by Amber Willink, Mary Ann Hernando and Sarah Steege discusses why hearing aids and related services should be covered for all Medicaid enrollees when medically necessary, regardless of age....Read More
Reduced Lower Extremity Functioning Is Associated With an Increased Rate of Being a Nondriver: The National Health and Aging Trends Study
In the United States and other industrialized countries, driving is an important component of independent mobility for adults. Driving connects adults with many fundamental aspects of daily life such as employment, social engagements, and personal care. As the number of older adult drivers increases, health professionals play an important role in keeping older drivers safely on the road, for example, by providing rehabilitative and prevention services for correctable problems such as musculoskeletal strength. If the physical therapy profession is going to “transform society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience,”, it is arguable that maintaining independent and safe driving mobility is a goal for physical therapy. ...Read More
Medicare Spending and the Adequacy of Support With Daily Activities in Community-Living Older Adults With Disability: An Observational Study.
[Study] found that community-living older adults with disability incur Medicare spending that is more than twice as high as among those without disability but that notable variability exists by activity domain and adequacy of support with daily activities. More than 1 in 5 older adults with mobility or self-care disability reported negative consequences due to no one being available to help or the activity being too difficult to perform alone....Read More
Study by Sarah Szanton, Qian-Li Xue, Bruce Leff; Jack Guralnik, Jennifer Wolff, Ibby Tanner, Cynthia Boyd, Roland Thorpe, David Bishai and Laura Gitlin demonstrates that CAPABLE, a home based intervention reduced disability by 30% compared to a control group also receiving home visits. This work was recently awarded a $3 million grant from the Rita & Alex Hillman Foundation to scale the CAPABLE program beyond the 26 places in 12 States it is already operating. ...Read More
Performance in the Medicare Shared Savings Program by ACOs Disproportionately Serving Dual and Disabled Populations.
Study finds alternative payment models can have positive financial outcomes for providers who serve dual-eligible and disabled populations....Read More
Nursing home entry prognostic model weighs factors associated with nursing home entry using NHATs dataset. Individual older adult characteristics and family caregiver characteristics both played a role in the risk model for nursing home entry....Read More
The CHRONIC Care Act will allow insurance companies offering Medicare Advantage plans to pay for non-medical supplementary benefits to prevent an illness or injury. Amber Willink and Eva DuGoff co-authored a perspective in the New England Journal of Medicine that describes the implications of the Act for expanding access to non-medical services....Read More
Cathy Schoen, Karen Davis, Amber Willink
More than one-fourth (27%) of all Medicare beneficiaries—an estimated 15 million elderly and disabled people—spent 20 percent or more of their household income on out-of-pocket medical expenses and monthly premiums in 2016, according to a new Commonwealth Fund study....Read More