Aging, Law, Medicaid, Medicare, Seniors

Supreme Court Case Could Curtail Rights of Medicaid Patients

Twenty-two Republican-leaning states have urged the Supreme Court to block beneficiaries of federal safety net programs from suing. If the court agrees participants in many federal entitlement programs could lose the right to go to court when they believe a state, city or county has violated their rights in the administration of those programs.

Photo of the arm of an elderly man sitting in a wheelchair.
Aging, Medicare, Palliative Care

Endgame: How the Visionary Hospice Movement Became a For-Profit Hustle

It might be counterintuitive to run an enterprise that is wholly dependent on clients who aren’t long for this world, but companies in the hospice business can expect some of the biggest returns for the least amount of effort of any sector in American health care. Medicare pays providers a set rate per patient per day, regardless of how much help they deliver. Since most hospice care takes place at home and nurses aren’t required to visit more than twice a month, it’s not difficult to keep overhead low and to outsource the bulk of the labor to unpaid family members — assuming that willing family members are at hand.

Aging, Alternative Medicine, Seniors

Poll: Many older adults look beyond conventional medicine for help, but few talk to their doctors about it

Nearly 40% of older adults currently use at least one integrative medicine strategy to try to ease symptoms of a physical or mental health issue, or to help them relax, a new poll finds. But only 18% of older adults who currently use, formerly used or are interested in using integrative health strategies have actually talked about it with a health care provider. 

Aging, Brain and Nervous System, Radiology

Scientists track how the brain changes over a lifetime

The volume of grey matter (brain cells) increases rapidly from mid-gestation onwards, peaking just before we are six years old. It then begins to decrease slowly. The volume of white matter (brain connections) also increased rapidly from mid-gestation through early childhood and peaks just before we are 29 years old. The decline in white matter volume begins to accelerate after 50 years.

Illustration of a nurse helping an older woman with a cane.
Aging, Palliative Care, Seniors

What is palliative care? How is it different from hospice?

Palliative care was not associated with shortened survival, pushing back against a popular assumption that pursuing palliative care means “giving up” on fighting disease. In fact, one influential study found that patients with advanced lung cancer who receive specialty palliative care in addition to standard oncology care lived almost three months longer than patients who received standard oncology care only.