Aging News Alert

Hawaii

 

Projects in Nine States Funded Via Family & Informal Caregiver Support Program

The Harry & Jeannette Weinberg Foundation, one of the largest private foundations in the United States, has made public the results of its Family & Informal Caregiver Support Program Request for Proposals. Some 14 different projects will receive a total of $8,184,145 over the course of the next three years.

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Medicaid Dollars in Stimulus Would Boost States

The inclusion of nearly $88 billion in House of Representatives' economic recovery package (HR 1) would not only help states continue to provide health coverage for vulnerable populations, details a new Families USA report, but it would also help to revitalize states' overall economies by preventing loss of jobs, wages and business activity, the group says.

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Research Initiative To Test Treatments For Menopausal Symptoms

Women troubled by hot flashes and night sweats during the years around menopause want safe, effective treatment options. A new research initiative from the National Institutes of Health will establish a multisite research network to conduct clinical trials of promising treatments for the most common symptoms of the menopausal transition.

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Report Details CMS Failure To Provide Oversight Of Part D Marketing Materials

A new, scathing report by the Department of Health & Human Servicesí Office of Inspector General (OIG), titled "Marketing Materials for Prescription Drug Plans," catalogs numerous failures by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to oversee Part D prescription drug benefit marketing materials, as required by law.

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Low Levels Of Brain Chemical May Lead To Obesity, NIH Study Shows

A brain chemical that plays a role in long term memory also appears to be involved in regulating how much people eat and their likelihood of becoming obese, according to a National Institutes of Health study of a rare genetic condition.

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Grant Awarded To Continue Work Of Advancing Excellence Campaign

The Steering Committee of the Advancing Excellence in Americaís Nursing Homes campaign it has received a grant of more than $474,000 from The Commonwealth Fund to build on the momentum the Campaign has achieved in its first two years of work. This grant was awarded to enhance the Campaign's capacity to lead quality improvement efforts, reach out to nursing homes that have not yet joined, and maintain progress toward meeting improvement targets.

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Cost Slowing For Hospital Patient Care, Government Data Shows

The cost of patient care in U.S. hospital rose just under 1% between 2005 and 2006, much slower than the average 5.3% per year between 1997 and 2005, according to the latest numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality. However, over the nine-year period from 1997 to 2006, the overall cost for stays in the hospital nearly doubled from $177 billion to $329 billion.

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Study Finds Most Patients Can Drive Safely Six Weeks After Bunion Surgery

Six weeks following bunion surgery, most patientsí pain levels are so low that they are able to get back behind the wheel of a car again. A study published in the August 2008 issue of The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery also found that emergency brake time response in patients who underwent a first metatarsal osteotomy (a common surgical treatment for bunions) is similar to that of healthy individuals just six weeks later.

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Seniors To Comprise Japanís Largest Consumer Group By 2020

Japanís senior citizens will comprise that nationís largest consumer group by the year 2020, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. says in a recent report. ``The elderly will play a leading role in Japan's domestic consumption,'' the report says. People 70 and older will account for approximately 20% of consumption in Japan, up from 13% in 2005.

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IRS Revises Voluntary Correction Program for Retirement Plans

"Employers and plan administrators want to comply with the tax laws and regulations to protect plan participants," says Michael Julianelle, director of the IRSís Employee Plans division. "EPCRS helps employers and plan administrators take a proactive role in identifying and fixing mistakes. It also encourages implementation of practices and procedures that ensure retirement plans comply with laws and regulations."

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Telephone Equipment Available For Hearing Impaired

Many states have established programs to provide basic telecommunications services for Hard of Hearing, Deaf, Deaf/Blind, and Speech Impaired individuals. Equipment such as amplified telephones, signalers, TTYs, cordless phones are just a sampling of what is available.

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Medicare Quality Reporting Initiative Pays $36 Million-Plus To Docs In 2007

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) says it paid more than $36 million in bonus payments to many of the more than 56,700 health professionals who satisfactorily reported quality information to Medicare under the 2007 Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI).

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CMS Adds Source To Help Determine Coverage For Anti-Cancer Drugs

CMS has provided additional updates to the information it uses in determining which drugs may be covered under Medicare Part B when used to treat patients undergoing cancer treatment through chemotherapy.

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Alzheimerís Research: What If Drug Firms Are Wrong?

In recent decades, researchers seeking a drug to treat the underlying cause of Alzheimerís disease have focused their efforts mainly on amyloid-beta plaques -- telltale clumps of protein that appear on the brains of individuals suffering from the disease, which were first noted by Alois Alzheimer in 1906. But after years of research and extensive trials of numerous drug candidates, scientists have started to express frustration with the amyloid-beta approach.

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IRS Begins Summer Push To Reach Retirees, Disabled Veterans

The Internal Revenue Service has launched a new summer campaign to reach those retirees and disabled veterans who qualify for the economic stimulus payment but have not filed to claim it. Newly released statistics released indicate about 74% in this group are accounted for in the stimulus payments currently being sent, leaving about 5.2 million potential recipients remaining.

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Study: Regular Exercise Program Can Help Delay Aging

A new study showing that maintaining aerobic fitness through middle age could delay biological aging by 12 years underscores the benefits of incorporating even a modest exercise program into one's daily routine, says the American Physical Therapy Association.

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New Book Offers Non-Financial Tips For Retiring Boomers

Just released is "What's Next in Your Life?", a guide to the non-financial aspects of retirement written by Joan Strewler-Carter and Stephen Carter, co-founders of the Life Options Institute, an organization dedicated to helping people plan for life beyond age 50.

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Baby Boomers' Bodies Impacted By Years Of Wear And Tear

As increasing numbers of baby boomer exercise enthusiasts and athletes age, healthcare professionals are treating more overuse injuries, as well as dealing with the results of traumatic injuries experienced by people when they were younger.

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Guide Helps Patients On Coumadin/Warfarin Therapy

The Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality has released a new consumer publication, Your Guide to Coumadin/Warfarin Therapy. This 20-page, easy-to-read patient brochure explains what patients should expect and watch out for while undergoing Coumadin/warfarin therapy.

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Building Healthy Communities for Active Aging Awards Program

The principal goal of the Building Healthy Communities for Active Aging Award program is to raise awareness across the nation about healthy synergies that can be achieved by communities combining Smart Growth principles and Active Aging concepts. Applications are due Sept. 12

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Hawaii Lawmakers Override Veto; Approve Rx Drug Import Program

Lawmakers in Hawaii have overridden Gov. Linda Lingle's veto of a bill that will allow the state to enroll in I-SaveRx, a program that enables residents to purchase lower-cost prescription drugs from other countries.

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Everything You Wanted To Know About DMEPOS Bidding But Were Afraid To Ask

Experts at the Washington, DC-based Center for Medicare Advocacy tackle the current controversy swirling around the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' requirements for a new competitive bidding program for certain Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies.

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CMS Revises Reporting Of Additional Data To Describe Service On Hospice Claims

CMS issues a revised CR 5567 which requires hospice providers to report data on their claims for Medicare payment, describing the visits provided in the course of delivering each hospice level of care billed.

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CMS Sets Rate Year 2009 Payment & Policy Changes For Long-Term Care Hospitals

CMS has published the final regulation establishing rate year 2009 federal payment rates and policies for long-term care hospitals. The changes provide moderate increases in payments affecting nearly 400 LTCHs across the nation.

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Tips To Help Protect Non-Traditional Families Facing Retirement

The MetLife Mature Market Institute is making a series of tips available to consumers, particularly those who are not in "traditional families," to help them make the right choices about how to prepare for retirement, despite the challenges they face. "Family Matters: Retirement Preparation Tip...

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Ad Campaign Launched To Encourage Men's Health Awareness

The Department of Health & Human Services' Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality AHRQ has joined with The Advertising Council to launch a national public service campaign designed to raise awareness among middle-aged men about the importance of preventive medical testing.

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White House Threatens To Veto Bill That Would Delay Medicaid Rule Changes

In a letter Tuesday (April 15) to members of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, Health & Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt says President Bush will likely veto legislation that would delay for one year implementation of seven new Medicaid regulations.

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Plastic Surgery On The Rise Among Baby Boomers

Despite increasing consumer demand for less invasive procedures for facial rejuvenation, facelifts are making a comeback with female and male baby boomers.

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Second Year Of Community College Caregiver Training Grants Launched

The critical lack of family and paraprofessional caregivers for older adults in the United States has motivated renewal of the Community College Caregiver Training Initiative for a second year.

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Firms Team To Implement Senior Risk Reduction Demo Project

HealthFitness is working with Pfizer Health Solutions as part of a three-year Senior Risk Reduction Demonstration project designed specifically for the senior population.

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Legislation Would Boost Nation's Long-Term Care Workforce

The proposed Caring for an Aging America Act of 2008 (S 2708) seeks to enhance recruitment and retention of direct care workers in long-term care settings with specialty training in geriatrics and gerontology.

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Survey: Aging Americans Lack Critical Facts about Maintaining Eye Health

Most Americans -- especially seniors -- do not know the risks and warning signs of diseases that could blind them if they don't seek timely detection and treatment, according to recent findings of the Survey of Public Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices Related to Eye Health and Disease.

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1,000 Mayors Deliver Meals to Seniors

Mayors across the country today (March 19) joined the fight to end senior hunger by delivering meals to the homebound elderly with their local Meals On Wheels program.

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Violence-Related Hospital Admissions on the Rise

Some 27% of violence-related hospitalizations in 2005 were for Medicare enrollees.

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Survey Finds Boomers Confused About Medicare

New research from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners shows many baby boomers -- the first wave of which turns 62 this year -- are confused about their post-retirement health insurance options, including their Medicare eligibility.

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Alzheimer's Caregiving Award Gets Funded

The Family Caregiver Alliance's National Center on Caregiving has been awarded a grant from The Rosalinde & Arthur Gilbert Foundation to oversee an awards program to recognize innovation in programs benefiting caregivers.

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Applications Open For 2008 Livable Communities Award

AARP and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) are calling for entries for the second annual Livable Communities Award.

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FAQs Added To Gateway To Older Americans Act 2006 Amendments

The Admin. on Aging's online Gateway to the Older Americans Act 2006 Amendments now includes Frequently Asked Questions, as well as the opportunity for users to submit their own questions regarding the 2006 Amendments.

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CMS Updating Medicare PPS Rates for Long-Term Care Hospitals

CMS proposes a rule aimed at updating the annual payment rates for the Medicare prospective payment system for inpatient hospital services provided by long-term care hospitals.

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Osteoporosis Education Tool Kit Available

The Alliance for Aging Research has developed a new resource to educate women about osteoporosis, also known as porous bone disease.

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Program Focuses on Older Adults' Mental Health

The Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Admin.'s Center for Mental Health Services seeks applicants for its Older Adults Targeted Capacity Expansion Grant Program.

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Dahn Yoga Classes Taught by Volunteers Thrill Senior

Sue and Wallace Yashima, both retired, are causing a yoga boom for Honolulu-area seniors. The Yashimas are recognized volunteers of the Dahn Foundation, which shares Dahn Yoga body-brain fitness expertise with the community.

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Challenges Exist in Delivering Key Components of End-of-Life Care

In 1999, approximately 28% of all Medicare spending was used to provide care for beneficiaries in the last year of their lives, finds a new report released by the Government Accountability Office.

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White Papers Focus on Tech's Effect on Aging

A nonprofit senior housing company in Minnesota offers two new white papers examining how technology is changing the face of aging in America.

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CMS to Expand Secret Shopper Program in 2008

CMS will be expanding its secret shopper program this year to check up on the marketing and sales of Medicare Part D prescription drug plans, as well as Medicare Advantage policies.

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Looking Older? How Square is Your Jaw Line?

Your face may be giving away your age, and it has nothing to do with wrinkles, sagging skin or droopy eyelids.

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Appropriate Use of Anti-Depressants by Nursing Home Residents

Nursing homes must ensure depressed residents get the medication they need while also guarding against the indiscriminate use of antidepressants to treat individual symptoms that may be unrelated to depression.

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IRS Releases Final 2008 Form 990 for Tax-Exempt Organizations

The IRS has issued an updated version of Form 990, the return that charities and other tax-exempt organizations are required to file annually, and provided transition relief so that small exempt organizations will have time to adjust to the new form.

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OIG Urges Stronger Medicare Rx Drug Program Oversight

HHS' Office of Inspector General found that Medicare drug plans haven't met all requirements for tracking out-of-pocket spending by beneficiaries in the Medicare Part D prescription drug program.

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2008 Calendar of Events and Meetings

Here's a handy-dandy list of aging-related events slated for 2008. Put those fridge magnets to work now!

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Study: Seniors Unable To Afford Rx Drugs

A least two-thirds of seniors in California can't afford their perscription medications, find the authors of a new study funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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Reviews of Prilosec, Nexium Find No Increased Heart-Related Risks

Does long-term use of Prilosec and Nexium increase the risk of heart attacks, heart failure, and heart-related sudden death in patients? FDA says no.

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Health Literacy Tool Available for Professionals Serving Seniors

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services is making available a new health literacy tool for people who serve older adults. The Quick Guide to Health Literacy and Older Adults is designed to provide useful strategies and suggestions to professionals who work with older adults to help bridge the communication gap between professionals and older adults.

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Congress Pressed to OK Medicare Improvements for Low-Income Seniors

The National Council on Aging is weighing in on recommendations by the nonpartisan Medicare Payment Advisory Commission urging Congress to improve assistance for low-income Medicare beneficiaries.

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Applications Sought for Geriatrics Education Specialty Residents Program

The Geriatrics Education for Specialty Residents Program, a key component of the project, is designed to improve the amount and quality of geriatric education received by medical and surgical residents. The program provides small grant support to bring geriatrics expertise into residency programs.

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AGS Foundation for Health in Aging Offers Scholars Award

The T. Franklin Williams Scholars Award is given to a junior faculty geriatrician (within four years of his/her first faculty appointment) who is conducting research in collaboration with a specialist of internal medicine on a specialty-related health problem common among older patients.

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