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September 25, 2015 § Leave a comment
Articles, commentary, research, and more from the past week
State and feds to increase One Care rates
In a move that Commonwealth Care Alliance President Lois Simon calls “really good news,” state and federal officials have decided to increase rates for the state’s One Care program. According to reports, the state and federal government will invest $6 million to $8 million more per year over the next two years as part of a revised payment structure. The new rates are designed to stabilize the One Care demonstration, which had lost some $54 million over the course of its first 18 months.
More geriatricians needed
The American Geriatrics Society estimates some 30,000 geriatricians will be needed by 2030 “to serve the 30 percent of older Americans with the most complicated medical problems.” Currently, however, there are only about 7,000 geriatricians practicing. Salaries could be the reason the numbers are so low. The organization reports that average salary for a geriatrician in 2010 was $184,000. That’s almost three times lower than what radiologists were paid.
Do statins pose a risk to seniors?
A higher percentage of elderly people are prescribed cholesterol-lowering statins than any other group, but many cardiologists are concerned about the effect of statins on people over age 79. Most statin studies have focused on younger patients, and there is a lack of research demonstrating that “statins’ preventive heart benefits outweigh possible risks, which can include muscle pain and the onset of diabetes.”