Demographic trends likely to be confirmed by results of the 2020 US Census include more pronounced population aging, along with decreasing geographical mobility, writes William Frey, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Frey, who analyzed US Census Bureau data leading up to the 2020 count, said from 2010 to 2020, the population over age 55 increased 27%, compared with 1.3% for the population under age 55, suggesting increases in the over-55 crowd can be expected in all states and metro areas, and most counties.
Many older adults want to age in place but that decision can have drawbacks, especially for adult children, writes Sara Zeff Geber, author of "Essential Retirement Planning for Solo Agers." She cites concerns such as the need for in-home care and misconceptions about assisted living facilities.
The Institute for Healthcare Improvement, as part of its Age-Friendly Health Systems initiative, is integrating racial and ethnic data into how it measures equitable care, writes Faith Mitchell of the Urban Institute. The goal is that health systems that are age-friendly will apply the initiative's "4M" framework -- What Matters, Medication, (docu)Mentation and Mobility -- by race and ethnicity among older patients.
Humana is working with athenahealth to integrate health plan data into patient EHRs, giving health care providers more point-of-care information and streamlining prior authorization tasks. Health plan data in EHRs can also be used to produce appointment alerts and identify care gaps.
The CMS violated the Affordable Care Act in approving Georgia's request to stop using a publicly run exchange to offer individual health insurance plans that qualify for federal tax credits, according to a lawsuit filed by Democracy Forward to block the waiver. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp says the waiver will enable more residents to get health insurance coverage, but the plaintiffs say fewer residents will be covered, coverage will be less affordable and less comprehensive, the plan will cost more than the existing system, and the CMS did not allow adequate time for public comment on the request.
Consumers in Pennsylvania and Colorado have until tonight to enroll in a health insurance plan through their respective state's exchange. Enrollment in Pennsylvania, which started running its own exchange this year, had topped 328,000 by Wednesday, while close to 172,000 Coloradans had signed up for a plan as of Jan. 6.
A new, interactive map on the HHS website shows where COVID-19 antibody therapies have been distributed in states that have chosen to participate in the project. Some people with COVID-19 have been unable to find a hospital offering antibodies, and the map "may help reduce the number of people who require hospitalization for COVID-19 care, which in turn reduces the strain on our nation's hospitals and their staff," said Robert Kadlec, the assistant secretary for preparedness and response at HHS.
The Sequoia Project is recruiting health IT professionals at health departments and information exchanges for a new workgroup "to apply the lessons learned to improve timely access to information to support emergency preparedness for the future," says workgroup facilitator Debbie Condrey. Workgroup members will focus on interoperability, regulatory issues, data privacy, funding and best practices.
HHS has rolled out a treatment locator tool that shows which sites have received shipments of FDA-authorized COVID-19 antibody treatments within the past several weeks. The tool, which can be accessed at HHS' Protect Public Data Hub, "allows patients and providers to find sites for outpatient treatment options, which may help reduce the number of people who require hospitalization for COVID-19 care, which in turn reduces the strain on our nation's hospitals and their staff," according to Robert Kadlec, HHS assistant secretary for preparedness and response.
A study in the Annals of Family Medicine found that the adoption of inpatient mammogram screening at Massachusetts General Hospital led to the completion of mammograms in 17 of 21 eligible women, 35% of whom never had a prior mammogram, and others were four years behind their breast cancer screening schedule on average. "Completing preventive screening tests, such as mammograms, during hospitalizations can be one way to help patients who might otherwise miss preventive care," researcher Dr. Andrew Hwang said.