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    American older adults sicker and poorer than 10 other countries, survey says

     

    “We’re talking about a sicker problem that’s also more financially troubled,” Osborn says.  “The two together are a really bad combination.”

    Jordan Grumet, MD, an internal medicine practitioner in Evanston, IL who sees nursing home patients in multiple places and author of  I Am Your Doctor: And This Is My Humble Opinion,  says the thing that stood out the most to him in the survey was the fact that such a large percentage of older Americans can’t manage the cost of their medical care.

    “The wealth in this country is spread diametrically from the very, very rich to everyone else,” Grumet says.   “We have an incredibly expensive healthcare system.   In Canada and parts of Europe, profits are not the goal for the healthcare system, even if you have an economically diverse strata of classes.”

    The economic challenges in the survey point to the problems of out-of-cost sharing and co-pays of Medicare, even though Medicare is a universal benefit, Osborn says.  “That may not always be apparent to doctors who are caring for the elderly,” Osborn adds.

     

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    Grumet says that most primary care doctors are immensely overwhelmed.  “I think most primary care doctors feel like they’re drowning as it is,” Grumet says.  “I don’t think American physicians are trained worse, but the pressures on the American healthcare system are different.  I love to compare (the American healthcare system) to conducting an orchestra.  The way in our healthcare system is to make our conductor also the guy who is taking tickets at the front door.  You can’t do it all. Practicing medicine is hard enough, taking care of your patients, motivating them and monitoring their medicine and getting them to do things that are good for them is a momentous problem on its own.”

    Everything gets exacerbated by compliance requirements and paperwork, Grumet says.   “Twenty-five percent of our time is spent on patient care, 75 percent is paperwork,” he says. “Residents in hospitals spend 5 to 10 percent of their time seeing patients, the other time is charting. The cost of compliance is insufferable.”

    Next: "We can look after our patients the best that we can."

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    • [email protected]
      Ok, now that the American healthcare system has been declared a failure in its ability to provide care to the elderly, what are Australia, Canada, France, Germany, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the U.K. doing that makes their ability to care for their elderly healthcare consumer so much better than ours? We are so divided as a country can be right now how on Earth are we going to remedy any problem facing us as a nation much less the problem caring for our elderly population which is only going to get bigger and bigger as BABY BOOMERS such as me hit the age of 65.Ezekiel Emanuel, an architect of OBAMACARE, brother of the notorious mayor of Chicago, murder capital of the United States, says he would be content to live until 75 and then die and not have to be confined in a nursing home for whatever time he has remaining in his natural life without any attempt to increase his longevity when valuable healthcare resources should be used to help those who are younger. The Democrat Party thinks Republicans want to push grandma and grandpa over a cliff in their wheelchairs, make the air foul and unbreathable, pollute the waters of our planet and contaminate the land and the food it produces.There actually is a product called SOYLENT, a liquid nutritional supplement, but it's not made from people as in the movie with Charlton Heston. Our political parties have to put animosity aside and work together in this task of providing adequate and affordable healthcare to our ever growing population now almost 350 million. If those 10 countries whose eldercare is better than ours continue to admit immigrants from 3rd world nations who are not interested in becoming responsible members of the societies in which they live and whose aim it is to destroy that society and replace it with their own they will be in the same boat as we find ourselves in at the present time.
    • [email protected]
      It is hard to tease out the health habits of patients comparing country to country. Certainly, there are cohorts in the US that take very good care of themselves, are accountable to their health needs, manage their care proactively and contact their physician early in the day when some health issue arises vs those who delay seeking care long past the appearance of a problem or who call at 530 pm (I can't get anyone to call me back) rather than 830 am (they made an appointment for me to come in right away) to be seen by their doctor. The new generation of shift working doctors and midlevels might find evening shifts to their liking if they are off the following day. I would not implicate entrepreneurship as a root cause of these observations. Some workforce medical insurance coverage modifies (improves) member behavior by penalizing employees financially for poor health habits. Patients in America can be more accountable and that would improve the data. Also I thought the punctuation of the essay employed too many commas.
    • [email protected]
      There are two major issues at play here. Cost and access. Especially for seniors who typically have multiple health issues as a result of the aging process and genetics. Direct Primary Care addresses both of these issues by: 1) removing the intermediation by government and insurance that takes up so much of the PCP's time, leaving little time for the actual practice of medicine, and 2) via price transparency resources and identification of independent, non-hospital owned specialists and facilities that offer cash pricing at significant savings over insurance-based and hospital-owned practices and ancillary facilities. This also applies to pharmaceuticals. By significant savings, I am talking about 50-90%. By being available to patients 24/7 via text, email or secure video in addition to office visits when necessary, DPC docs make access to their practice significantly better. By providing this unlimited access for a cost typically at or below $100/month, it is also financially feasible for most seniors.

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