COPD and Other Stuff

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Posts Tagged ‘seniors’

Update to my Kentucky medical story and a flip side of the same coin

Monday, September 26th, 2011

Update to my Kentucky medical story and a flip side of the same coin.

I spoke too soon on my belief that the American Medical Association would be interested in my comments about a Medicare patient and a doctor in a small town in Kentucky – but a “Kentucky Medical Complaint” Google search brought up some answers.

Update in my friends Kentucky case – she, as of Saturday, 24 September 2011 had not heard from the doctor for test results.  She called the local hospital where the cardio tests (2) were performed and told the results were in and she could pick them up.

She called the doctor’s office yesterday and told the PFTs were normal and the heart tests were normal too.  What justified the cardiac tests when the PFTs were normal?

Why would the PFT procedure be so different in a small town in Kentucky than in the rest of the nation?  Is the 29 days it took to wait for the doctor results due to a state raising fast horses and s l o w doctors in general or specific to one doctor in one small Kentucky town?

Having dependence on Medicare/Medicaid and being old, poor and trusting should not be a factor in a doctor’s way of making a living off the patients through unnecessary testing and no follow up contact with the patient.

The plus side is that she now has the physical test results of her lungs and heart but not a clue what they mean.  When she called the doctor’s office this time, she was told the results of the PFT and cardiac tests were ‘normal’.

Why did the doctor order cardiac testing if the Pulmonary Function Tests were normal?

I called the doctor’s office this morning, Monday, 9/26/11 and asked several questions including why the doctor didn’t call the patient in 29 days to give her the test results and was told that it can take two or three weeks to get the results and another week for the doctor to review the results.  My friend the patient was told two weeks.  When I asked why the cardiac tests were ordered when her PFT was ‘normal’ – BEFORE he spoke to the patient - I was told to call back later to speak with the office manager.

I was told if my Kentucky friend wanted to know the meaning of the test results, she should call and make an appointment with the doctor.

Fast horses and slow doctors in a small town in Kentucky – doesn’t seem right to me.  Are other seniors on Medicare/Medicaid being ill treated by this doctor? 

Are most Kentucky doctors as seemingly indifferent to their senior patients by failing to give test results in a timely manner and ordering cardiac tests without apparent need – or just this one based on my own PFT experience?

The flip side of the coin is the unfair treatment of the medical profession by Medicare and Medicaid.

I wrote the following in answer to a Letter to the Editor, Kitsap Sun:

“Well…health care costs...not one post has mentioned WHY doctors don’t take Medicare or Medicaid. The fact is physicians and the health care industry is the only profession in this nation that PENALIZES the doctor and health care businesses!

Any other business in the country can set their price and people pay it or go elsewhere. Not so the physician. Medicare and Medicaid pay only a fraction of the set price per service of each doctor.

Why should doctors take patients that COST them money to see them…they LOSE money.

If a plumbing business could take ten calls during the business day – why would they take a call from someone that will not pay their full price for the service?

Some doctors DO TAKE MEDICARE/MEDICAID patients and I for one – am grateful mine do.

I will mention here that I saw a medical devise recently that cost Medicaid/Medicare about nine thousand dollars per patient that has one. For a patient to buy it outright it cost about twelve thousand dollars.

If that isn’t outrageous enough for you – my opinion of the value of the devise – it MIGHT be worth one thousand dollars TOPS.

In my opinion, what seems to be happening in some cases is that the health care folks have tacked outrageous prices on cheap junk to make up for the low Medicare/Medicaid set prices.

Who loses? WE DO! The taxpayer AND the patient.”

Read more: http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2011/sep/19/letter-to-the-editor-state-shouldnt-cut-more/#ixzz1YsPjzSZ4

http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2011/sep/19/letter-to-the-editor-state-shouldnt-cut-more/

Speaking of a medical determined momma squirrel in Silverdale…

Thanks for reading… Sharon O’Hara


COPDers One Legged Bike Training Study in Chest

Sunday, July 17th, 2011

 

YES, COPDers CAN improve aerobic capacity with one-legged exercise training compared with two-legged training in stable patients with COPD.  However – how practical is it for the COPDer riding out in traffic for fun and exercise perched upon one of those crotch-numbing seats on an upright bicycle with one pedal?

Studies are great and as a COPDer, some studies are cause for great excitement learning how we can add more to our daily lives to help ourselves.  The big question here is – how do the study results transfer over to using it in a practical way?

Thanks to Chris Wigley a COPD friend and fellow EFFORTS member in Canada for the following study.  Published in Chest – results on one-legged exercise training.

My question is how can a COPDer get the same results riding a recumbent trike using pendulum pedals?    http://pugetsoundblogs.com/copd-and-other-stuff/2011/07/10/severe-copd-and-eccentric-cycling-protocol-study/

Additionally, how do water workouts help the COPDer gain FEV1 if they are strenuous air exchanges?

My swim coach, Marilyn Grindrod cranked up our workouts yesterday and I feel it for the first time – excited and pleased to feel muscles I have not felt in years and my endurance has increased…far fewer slowdowns to breathe.  It seems to me that oxygen must be moving more getting to the rest of the body.

The water workouts will build up the muscling around my left hip so – hopefully – I can get back on my regular recumbent trikes.

Currently we are working harder on my upper body conditioning and muscle building for my arm pedal recumbent trike.  One way or another, I have a cycling trip to take.

I would like to know why these bike studies use the upright bike when – for most COPDers, we are better off on the more stable and comfortable recumbent trikes – many due to mobility issues.

Most seniors can ride a recumbent trike – fewer can ride the crotch killing upright bike.

 

Effects of One-Legged Exercise Training of Patients With COPD*

Thomas E. Dolmage, MSc and

Roger S. Goldstein, MD, FCCP

+ Author Affiliations

*From Respiratory Diagnostic and Evaluation Services (Mr. Dolmage), West Park Healthcare Centre Toronto; and Department of Medicine (Dr. Goldstein), University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.

 

Correspondence to: Thomas E. Dolmage, MSc, West Park Healthcare Centre, 82 Buttonwood Ave, Toronto, ON, M6M 2J5, Canada; e-mail: RGoldstein@westpark.org

Abstract

Background: Most patients with severe COPD are limited by dyspnea and are obliged to exercise at low intensity. Even those undergoing training do not usually have increased peak oxygen uptake (V̇o2). One-legged exercise, at half the load of two-legged exercise, places the same metabolic demands on the targeted muscles but reduces the ventilatory load, enabling patients to increase work capacity. The purpose of this study was to determine whether one-legged exercise training would improve aerobic capacity compared with two-legged training in stable patients with COPD.

 

Methods: Eighteen patients with COPD (mean FEV1, 38 ± 17% of predicted [± SD]) were randomized to two groups after completing an incremental exercise test. Both trained on a stationary cycle for 30 min, 3 d/wk, for 7 weeks. Two-legged trainers (n = 9) cycled continuously for 30 min, whereas one-legged trainers (n = 9) switched legs after 15 min. Intensity was set at the highest tolerated and increased with training.

 

Results: Both groups increased their training intensity (p < 0.001) and total work (p < 0.001). After training, the change in peak V̇o2 of the one-legged group (0.189 L/min; confidence interval [CI], 0.089 to 0.290 L/min; p < 0.001) was greater than that of the two-legged group (0.006 L/min; CI, − 0.095 to 0.106 L/min; p = 0.91). This was accompanied by greater peak ventilation (4.4 L/min; CI, 1.8 to 7.1 L/min; p < 0.01) and lower submaximal heart rate (p < 0.05) and ventilation (p < 0.05) in the one-legged trained group.

Conclusion: Reducing the total metabolic demand by using one-legged training improved aerobic capacity compared with conventional two-legged training in patients with stable COPD.

lung diseases, obstructive

muscle, skeletal

oxygen consumption

physical conditioning, human

rehabilitation, pulmonary

The cornerstone of pulmonary rehabilitation is exercise training, based on the premise that altering physiologic processes will result in improved outcomes.12 Intensity and duration are important determinants of the physiologic adaptations that occur in response to exercise training.3456 However, most patients with COPD are so limited by dyspnea, even at modest levels of ventilation, that their training is restricted to low-intensity exercise.7 As a result, when undergoing exercise training they are usually unable to increase their peak oxygen uptake (V̇o2),8 although this measure is the recognized standard for confirming the physiologic effects of aerobic exercise training.

 

One approach that might allow training at a higher intensity, addressing the peripheral muscle deconditioning, is to partition the exercise to a smaller muscle mass while maintaining the same muscle-specific load. We have reported that patients with COPD achieved more work when cycling with one leg.9 Despite the same load being applied to the muscle, one-legged exercise placed the same metabolic and functional demands on the targeted muscle, at a lower total metabolic load, and hence a lower ventilatory load. The next logical step is to test the hypothesis that training using a one-legged technique, thereby increasing the muscle-specific stimulus, would induce physiologic changes sufficient to increase peak V̇o2. We report the influence of one-legged training on peak V̇o2 during incremental exercise compared with conventional two-legged training under identical conditions of training frequency and session duration.

Previous SectionNext Section

Materials and Methods

Patients

 

Inclusion required a diagnosis of COPD10 based on standardized spirometry,11 clinical stability, smoking abstinence, and willingness to enroll in an inpatient or outpatient pulmonary rehabilitation program that included supervised exercise, education, and psychosocial support. Patients were excluded if they were hypoxemic at rest (Pao2 < 55 mm Hg), had comorbidities that limited their exercise tolerance, or were unable to provide informed consent. After baseline assessments, patients were allocated to one of the two exercise training methods (one-legged or two-legged training) according to an unrestricted computer-generated randomization list. The study was approved by the West Park Healthcare Centre Research Ethics Committee.

Exercise Training

 

Both the one-legged and the two-legged groups followed the same training regimen, except that one-legged trainers used the first half of the session to train one leg, followed immediately by completing the session using the other leg. Patients allocated to the one-legged group cycled while resting their inactive foot on a crossbar located midway on the ergometer head tube (Fig 1 ). Two-legged trainers cycled continuously throughout the session. Training was performed on an electromechanically braked cycle (Collins CPX Bike model 0070; Warren E. Collins; Braintree, MA) while breathing room air. Supervised training sessions were scheduled for three times per week for 7 weeks. The intensity was intended to allow 30 min of continuous exercise excluding warm-up and cool-down periods. The intensity was set at 50% and 70% of the peak power (Ppk) attained on the baseline incremental test for the one-legged and two-legged trainers, respectively, and reduced as necessary to obtain at least 30 min of continuous cycling; therefore, during the first week of the program, patients trained at a mean of 40% Ppk for one-legged and 56% Ppk for two-legged training, respectively. When the exercise duration reached 30 min for three consecutive sessions the training workload was increased by 5 W. The goal was to train at the highest power that the patient could maintain for at least 20 min. If, at any time, the patient found the workload intolerable, it was reduced to its previous setting. All other rehabilitation modalities were similar.

One-legged cycling. The subject is shown (having given informed consent) pedaling with his right leg while resting his left leg on the crossbar, midway on the head tube.

Outcome Measures

… The load was set at 80% of the Ppk achieved on the baseline incremental test. Patients breathed ambient air during all tests.

Eighteen patients, 9 randomly allocated to each group, completed the study. Two patients withdrew: one allocated to the one-legged group, following an acute exacerbation; and the other patient, allocated to the two-legged group, was uncomfortable cycling. The baseline characteristics of each group are presented in Table 1 ; there were no significant differences between study groups. All of the nine patients allocated to the one-legged group could easily manage this technique after simple instruction from the trainer.

Patients Who Completed Training*

Exercise Training

Both groups significantly increased their training intensity (p < 0.001) over the duration of the training program (Fig 2 ), with no significant difference between groups in the progression of training intensity. Three of the nine subjects in the two-legged group progressed to a training intensity of > 80% Ppk; one of the nine subjects in the one-legged group progressed to a training intensity of 86% Ppk. Both groups significantly increased their total work per session (p < 0.001) over the duration of the program (Fig 3 ). The slope of absolute work vs training time was greater in the one-legged group than in the two-legged group (p < 0.05).

…..

One-legged cycle training required no specific learning, and patients found it at least as comfortable as two-legged training, likely because leg fatigue is better tolerated than dyspnea. One-legged training does not preclude other strategies to improve exercise tolerance, such as supplemental oxygen,202223 mechanical ventilatory assistance,24252627 or heliox.242829

 

Models suggest that a limitation in the exercising muscle contributes to the low peak V̇o2 in COPD patients.3031 In our study, peak V̇o2 during incremental exercise increased among the one-legged training group, and V̇e at submaximal exercise decreased.71932 Some of the observed differences between groups, such as the lower submaximal HR and the increased posttraining peak V̇e in the one-legged group, were unexpected.

Although the effect of one-legged cycling on constant power endurance time was large, it also increased in the two-legged trainers, which almost certainly prevented there being a significant between-group difference. Had one-legged cycling been compared to a control group who did not exercise, there would undoubtedly have been statistically significant differences in constant power endurance. The latter measure is quite variable36 and therefore requires a larger sample size than was included in this study.

To minimize any small bias that might be associated with the absence of blinding,8 we used standardized instruction and encouragement during the exercise tests and included a comparison group of two-legged trainers, who expected to experience a positive training effect. The changes in effort independent submaximal responses, such as HR, also supported the differences being attributable to a treatment effect. Within the spectrum of COPD patients, this training modality may be most effective among the more severely ventilatory-limited patients.

In summary, we report the effects of one-legged cycle training on aerobic capacity in patients with COPD. Compared with conventional two-legged cycling, there is evidence that one-legged training enhances the adaptive response of peripheral muscle, resulting in increased peak V̇o2, Ppk, and peak V̇e. A large prospective clinical trial will better characterize the ideal candidate and provide a sample size sufficient for this method of training to be assessed using more variable outcomes such as constant power exercise and health-related quality of life. Muscle-specific training should be considered in conjunction with other approaches that improve exercise capacity in patients with chronic respiratory conditions.

.…

Acknowledgments

The authors thank the patients of West Park Healthcare Center as well as Mika Nonoyama and Stefania Costi for help supervising the training sessions.

http://chestjournal.chestpubs.org/content/133/2/370.full.html

Thanks for reading…. Sharon O’Hara


Seniors, Walking Sticks and Driver’s License Renewal

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

 

The second time around is good -I passed the Driver’s Test!

Walking Sticks and gray hair still cover a working brain, mobility and the ability to drive.

 

Seniors using Walking Sticks (canes) does not mean brain dead and immobile.

That said:  If seniors using walking sticks are required to take the driving test as I was told,  it should say so on the website and driver’s manual.  Discrimination against seniors using walking sticks is unreasonable and unfair.

The following photo is taken directly off the Driver’s Manual online…and is what I expected to see at the first driver’s test and what one would see during the normal course of a driving day.

 

 

 

See the cars…not the reality of the actual Parallel Parking test in Bremerton, WA.  They should match actual driving conditions.

I shot this photo (Friday, 10 June 14, 2011) before the second driving test.  Bright orange cones instead of cars are the reality in Bremerton, WA for the Parallel Parking test and probably other places as well.  I am suggesting that cones be used in the Driver’s Manual instead of the cars or that actual cars are used for the test.

Please do not discriminate against folks (seniors) using walking sticks by not warning them they will be retested another day.  Mention it online and in the manual.

My thanks to the professional folks at the DOT Bremerton Driver’s License Division for their professionalism and courtesy.

http://pugetsoundblogs.com/copd-and-other-stuff/2011/06/04/dot-department-of-licensing-discriminate-against-cane-users/

http://pugetsoundblogs.com/copd-and-other-stuff/2011/06/05/dot-driver-license-division-discriminating-against-cane-walkers-and-seniors/

http://pugetsoundblogs.com/roadwarrior/2011/06/06/incident-at-the-drivers-license-office/

Thanks for reading… Sharon O’Hara


DOT, Department of Licensing Discriminate Against Cane Users?

Saturday, June 4th, 2011

When did the Department of Transportation begin discriminating against physically challenged cane users and seniors?  Seniors since most cane users I have seen are seniors.  Has the discrimination been there long?

The rule isn’t mentioned nor stated on the DOT Driver’s License Division web site that all cane users must retake the driving test to renew their license.  I did not see it there and last Wednesday I walked into the license place unprepared for the long wait for nothing.

After driving there and waiting almost an hour for my number 383 to be called, I was told I would have to take the driver’s test because all cane users must take it.  She didn’t care that mine are walking sticks so I said okay, let’s go and learned the driver’s test is given once a week on Fridays.  I pointed out that nothing was mentioned on the web site and she apparently logged into it and looked but finally muttered, “it must the there – somewhere.”

I pointed out the wasted time and energy – gas – to get there only to be told of the cane mandatory retesting and it could not be done then.  The retesting is not an issue.  The wasted time and gas to get there was pointless when cane users could have phoned for an appointment and made one trip.

When we got home, I called the DOT to complain and after a 10 – 15 minute ‘hold’ was told they could not take phone appointments because they couldn’t believe what anyone told them over the phone – they had to be seen in person.  Oh, please!  What non-cane user would call and tell them they use canes to walk and want to make the appointment to take the driver’s test?  Nobody I know.

Again – why are seniors and cane users discriminated against by the DOT, Division of Licensing?

An update of yesterday’s driving test later…thanks for reading…. Sharon O’Hara


Dogs and Doctors Work Together for the Same Purpose – Keep their Humans Healthier

Friday, April 8th, 2011

I’ll call her Wini.   Wini   was a horse person and she and her retired Navy husband bred, raised, showed and sold Arabian horses.  She was a little woman and her huge husband towered over her.  I met them when I joined the local horse club and the meetings were held in their arena clubroom.  Wini and her husband loved dogs too and was always surrounded by them.

My focus here is Wini and dogs.  She had lost her helpmate and fifty-five year love and lived some years alone with the dogs.  Wini began to disperse the horse herd as she became less able to care for them.  Their only child, a son, lived far away in another state and they had little contact with him or his family.

I don’t know how it happened but Wini ended up in an assisted living place in another town several hours drive from home and everyone she knew.  She told me she begged her son to let her keep just one of her little dogs but he placed her in a place that didn’t allow dogs.  The next to last time I spoke with her she thought the management might let her keep one of her beloved little dogs.

The last time I spoke with Wini she sounded depressed, lonely and sick.   She wasn’t allowed a dog and few people made the drive to see her.   It my opinion that people need something warm to hug and to feel the heartbeat of another living being – something to care for and be loved in return.

Dogs can save lives and give some folks a reason to live.

There is a reason I’m posting a video of the Silverdale Dog Park beyond being a dog person and the fact is that I admire folks who fund their own hobbies such as the dog folks of Silverdale who worked hard to fund and do volunteer work at the Silverdale Dog Park.

I recently visited and took a video and found people of all ages playing there with their dogs… the place is crowed no matter the weather with the friendliest people I’ve met anywhere and neat dogs.  Take a look and please forgive my amateurish attempt to show a great place for people and dogs.  A great place to socialize with your pets and other like minded folks.

Mike McCown, Silverdale Dog Park Stewardship President and the tribute to the mover and shaker for the park, Anita Bates.

The couple in the video are Robert Smith and Carolyn Farnsworth and “Dobbie”  one of the happiest Australian Shepherds I’ve met.

Dogs save lives for seniors, the physically challenged and even children who have been betrayed by adults and horribly abused are soothed and can be adored and loved uncondioningly by the right dog.

Dogs enrich our lives.  In some cases, dogs and pets give some of us a life and a reason for living.  Caring for them helps us remain physically and mentally fit and active.

There are plenty of studies to prove it and for some our dogs keep us striving to be better people – to become, “the person my dog thinks I am.”

My first dog, Pepy was a herding dog from the Kitsap County Humane Society some sixty years ago.

Man’s Best Friend: Study Shows Lonely Seniors Prefer Playtime With Pooch Over Human Interaction

ScienceDaily (Jan. 9, 2006) — A new Saint Louis University study shows there is some truth in the old cliché that describes a dog as “man’s best friend.”

“Or at least a less aggravating friend,” said study author William A. Banks, M.D., professor of geriatrics in the department of internal medicine and professor of pharmacological and physiological sciences at Saint Louis University School of Medicine.

Nursing home residents felt much less lonely after spending time alone with a dog than they did when they visited with a dog and other people. The research will be published in the March 2006 issue of Anthrozoos 18(4).

“It was a strange finding,” said Banks, who also is a staff physician at Veterans Affairs Medical Center in St. Louis. “We had thought that the dog acts as a social lubricant and increases the interaction between the residents. We expected the group dog visits were going to work better, but they didn’t.

“There is no need for a dog to be a social lubricant or icebreaker in a nursing home. Residents live with each other, eat breakfast, lunch and dinner with each other, play bingo with each other,” Banks says. “The study also found that the loneliest individuals benefited the most from visits with dogs.”

Established in 1836, Saint Louis University School of Medicine has the distinction of awarding the first M.D. degree west of the Mississippi River. Saint Louis University School of Medicine is a pioneer in geriatric medicine, organ transplantation, chronic disease prevention, cardiovascular disease, neurosciences and vaccine research, among others. The School of Medicine trains physicians and biomedical scientists, conducts medical research, and provides health services on a local, national and international level.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/01/060108215831.htm

************************************

One recent study by a Michigan State University researcher, epidemiologist Mathew Reeves showed that dog walkers are “34 percent more likely to meet federal benchmarks on physical activity.”

To me that means being more physically fit and able to take care of ourselves as well as our dogs and saving taxpayers billions of dollars in health care costs.

“Walking is the most accessible form of physical activity available to people,” Reeves said. “What we wanted to know was if dog owners who walked their dogs were getting more physical activity or if the dog-walking was simply a substitute for other forms of activity.”

Mathew Reeves and his team discovered the walking dog people were more active overall in their lives.

The study appears in the current issue of the Journal of Physical Activity and Health.

“He also pointed out the social and human/animal bond aspects of owning a dog that has been shown to have a positive impact on quality of life. And since only about two-thirds of dog owners reported regularly walking their dogs, Reeves said dog ownership represents an opportunity to increase participation in walking and overall physical activity.

Contributing authors to the research include Ann Rafferty, Corinne Miller and Sarah Lyon-Callo, all with the Michigan Department of Community Health.”

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110310151218.htm

More later…thanks for listening… Sharon O’Hara


Seniors and Physically Challenged Move On With Their Pets

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Greetings… I hope this works – if it does, thanks Angela!
Sometimes a point is reached where our best friends need more exercise than we can give them and treadmills come into play, thanks to such wisdom from the Dog Whisperer and his fans. My dogs have a good fenced area to play but that does not take the place of walking them. My dogs and I are learning about treadmill work-outs and I thought it might be interesting to you and to those seniors or physically challenged who might be finding it more difficult to keep their pets exercised.
Please excuse these amateur films…and I promise to get better..
More later… Sharon O’Hara


Political Medicare and Tricare Travesty

Saturday, November 13th, 2010

Greetings…Medicare and Tricare patients – we may soon be up that creek without a paddle if we don’t take action now.  I sent the following letter this morning to my legislators through the American Medical Association’s website to protest against  further cuts to our physicians.  They are already penalized by taking Medicare and Medicaid patients now.  If this new cut goes through,  patients like us won’t even have a canoe up that creek, much less the paddle.

***

“Dear Legislator’s…  Don’t force physicians to make the choice to of not treating Medicare or Tricare patients or go out of business for lack of income and not be able to treat anyone.

The medical profession is the only profession in this nation to be penalized by the work they do – working in health care. accepting Medicare or Medicaid patients penalize the very people working to provide health care to our citizens – our physicians.

Forcing additional physician related medical cuts will effectively take care of too much government care costs by getting rid of seniors and our retired military to make room for the baby boomers beginning to enter the system.  Is that what you want?

I fit into both categories, a senior on Medicare and Tricare.  My medical team already loses money every time they see me.

How dare the government control what should be private industry KNOWING these additional cuts will drive doctors out of business and/or be a death warrant for patients like me left stranded without medical assistance.

My husband is retired military, we’re both seniors – he is my ‘caregiver.’ I have COPD, Sarcoidosis, Bone on Bone left hip Arthritis, RLS, Lymph-edema,  Psoriasis and Other Stuff.

My parents legally immigrated to this country, the land of their dreams,  knowing they were only limited by their own imagination and willingness to work.  For shame that America could be reduced to a government willing to harm their retired military and seniors by reducing the medical care needed for their survival.

The Medicare patch Congress passed last June is only a temporary reprieve for the seniors and baby boomers who rely on the promise of Medicare. In December, the Medicare cut to doctor services will be a whopping 23 percent, increasing to nearly 25 percent in January.

It’s a tragedy that Congress has let Medicare erode into an unreliable, unstable system for both patients and their doctors.

We need a long-term solution to this annual problem, so you will no longer need to apply short-term Band-Aid fixes to stop impending cuts that get worse year after year. And don’t forget – baby boomers begin entering Medicare soon, and if this problem isn’t fixed, these new Medicare patients may not be able to find a doctor to treat them!

The vicious cycle of short-term delays that make the cuts worse and raise the cost of real reform for American taxpayers must come to an end.

This is a dangerous game of Russian roulette with seniors’ health care. Sick patients can’t wait any longer for you to do the right thing. Please stabilize this broken payment system before the damage is done and cannot be reversed.

Don’t allow a bad system to get worse.”

***

Please let your voice be heard.

http://www.ama-assn.org/

Sincerely,

Sharon O’Hara


Seniors Learn and Chat New Government Benefits TODAY

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

The Department of Health and Human Services want Seniors to know stuff.

They’ve scheduled weekly web chats and TODAY, 8 April at 1:00pm “.. top experts on health care and seniors will join Secretary Sebelius live for a discussion about some important benefits for older Americans .” Don’t miss it.

Read on for more information to benefit Seniors, including the donut hole filler.

“Now that the Affordable Care Act is law, the Department of Health and Human Services wants you to be sure you are getting the information you need about the important early benefits that will be available this year.

Each week HHS will be hosting a weekly web chat with Secretary Sebelius and other top officials at HHS. You’ll be able to hear more about what the new health insurance reform law means for you, and you can submit your questions directly to Healthreform@hhs.gov.

Last week, the Secretary and SBA Administrator Karen Mills talked about the new tax credits that are now available to help small businesses buy health insurance for their workers. You can watch that web cast on demand by clicking here.

This Thursday, April 8th, at 1:00 PM EDT, two of HHS’s top experts on health care and seniors will join Secretary Sebelius live for a discussion about some important benefits for older Americans. Kathy Greenlee, our Assistant Secretary for Aging, and Marilyn Tavenner, Principal Deputy Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, will be available live to take your questions.

Join the conversation tomorrow at 1:00 pm EDT at http://www.hhs.gov/live.

Did you know that the new law will provide a $250 rebate this year on prescription drugs for those facing the gap in Medicare coverage known as the donut hole?

Did you know that the new law protects and strengthens Medicare by eliminating waste and fraud and ending overpayment to private insurance companies?

Did you know that preventive care will be available to Medicare beneficiaries at no cost?

We will be discussing all these benefits plus new details about a new retiree reinsurance program (pdf) that will bring much needed relief to many early retirees who cannot access affordable health coverage.

Send us your questions today to Healthreform@hhs.gov.

We’ll answer as many questions as we can during the web chat and address others in the “Your Questions Answered” section of our website.

Jenny Backus
Acting Assistant Secretary of Public Affairs
Moderator of the HHS Weekly Web Chat

More later… Sharon O’Hara


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About This Blog

This is a patient to patient blog to exchange information and resources...from COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) to Arthritis to Cellulites to Sarcoidosis to Sleep Apnea to RLS to Psoriasis to Support Groups to Caregivers and all points in between. Written by Sharon O'Hara.

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