The major cause of the federal budget crisis, which is still in its early stages, is the relentless growth of Medicare spending. The two biggest causes of Medicare growth are the retirement of the baby boom generation, thus increasing the number of people on the rolls, and the persistent increase in the per person cost of medical care. The retirement of the baby boom generation is just beginning and the per person growth of Medicare, even though it has moderated slightly in recent years, tends to be well above economic growth, the growth of wages, and overall inflation. Unless something is done, Medicare will continue to consume an increasing percentage of the federal budget. According to the Medicare Actuary, Medicare will grow from 3.6 percent of the nation’s GDP in 2010 to 10.4 percent by 2080. Moreover, the interest on the money borrowed to pay for our programs, one of the most rapidly growing of which is Medicare, will greatly exceed even our spending on Medicare. Unchecked, growth in spending on Medicare and interest on the federal debt will bankrupt the country….
…If the reluctance of politicians to incur the wrath of voters can be overcome, and if the internecine fighting between the parties can be quelled, analysts and policymakers have developed two broad choices for constraining the growth of Medicare costs. The first is to call on health professionals and other experts to identify reforms that would contain costs by adopting measures such as reducing the use of redundant or unnecessary tests, reducing the use of treatments that evidence shows are not effective, increasing the use of generic drugs, and increasing the effectiveness and use of preventive care…
…The second way to contain Medicare growth is to adopt policies that harness market forces to control costs. Although controversial, premium support is perhaps the most credible approach of this type developed so far….
- A Medicare reform plan that just might work (csmonitor.com)
- Medicare and Private Health Insurance (nytimes.com)
- Editorial: What About Premium Support? (nytimes.com)
- Support Builds for Premium Support Plan for Medicare (nytimes.com)
- What no one is telling you about Medicare (money.cnn.com)
- Health Care Experts Warn That Wyden/Ryan Plan Will End Guaranteed Access To Care For Seniors (thinkprogress.org)
From the 17 December 2011 Medical News Today article
When making New Year’s resolutions this year, committing to a specific plan for when and where you are going to accomplish each goal will make you more likely to succeed, says a Wake Forest University psychology professor.
In a recent study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Assistant Professor E.J. Masicampo found that committing to a specific plan to accomplish a goal not only makes it more likely to be done, but also gets it off your mind so you can think about other things.
“Once a plan is made, we can stop thinking about that one goal,” says Masicampo, who studies goal setting and will power. “This frees our minds to focus on other tasks or simply enjoy the current moment.”
But, not just any plan will work, he says. “The ones that work specify exactly what you are going to do, including when and where you are going to do it.”
He describes four essential elements of a successful plan:
1. Specifies exactly what you’re going to do and in what situation (where and when)
2. Is under your control and not dependent on someone else’s actions
3. Includes specific opportunities to meet the goal in situations likely to occur
4. Focuses on a goal you are motivated to accomplish…
- The Power of a Plan (my.psychologytoday.com)
- Making New Year’s Resolutions You Can Keep (denvercounselingblog.wordpress.com)
- With 2012 Looming Large, Do You Think Some Goal Setting Can Help Your Year? [Sam Borrett] (ecademy.com)
- Making 2012 Goals (authoressinspired.wordpress.com)
- Should we set goals? (jmdsystemics.wordpress.com)
- Transform New Year’s resolutions into accomplishments (worksurvival.wordpress.com)
- Free Write Friday; What’s Your New Year Resolution? (magicinthebackyard.wordpress.com)
Consumers want to be happy, and marketers are increasingly trying to appeal to consumers’ pursuit of happiness. However, the results of six studies reveal that what happiness means varies, and consumers’ choices reflect those differences. In some cases happiness is defined as feeling excited, and in other cases happiness is defined as feeling calm. The type of happiness pursued is determined by one’s temporal focus, such that individuals tend to choose more exciting options when focused on the future, and more calming options when focused on the present moment. These results suggest that the definition of happiness, and consumers’ resulting choices, are dynamic and malleable.
- What’s the meaning of happiness? (fiveminuteeconomist.wordpress.com)
[On a somewhat related note..book on my nightstand..to read next..
Harnessed- How Language and Music Mimicked Nature and Transformed Ape to Man]
From the 16 December National Public Radio story
More and more hospitals and clinics now offer music therapy as a supplementary treatment for everything from anxiety to Alzheimer’s, but its efficacy varies for different conditions. Neurologist Oliver Sacks and several music therapists discuss the science and practice of music therapy….
FLATOW: Thank you for being with us. Connie Tomaino is the executive director and co-founder of the Institute for Music and Neurological Function at the Beth Abraham Family of Health Services in the Bronx, New York. She’s also here in our studios. Welcome, Dr. Tomaino.
CONCETTA TOMAINO: Pleasure to be here.
FLATOW: And Joke Bradt is an associate professor in the Creative Arts Therapies Department at Drexel University in Philadelphia; she joins us from the studios of WRTI. Welcome to the show, Dr. Bradt.
DR. JOKE BRADT: Thank you, and thanks for having me.
FLATOW: And we’re going to be talking with Connie – what exactly, how do you define music therapy, Dr. Tomaino?
TOMAINO: Well, music therapy is the use of music and the components of music to affect function, either cognitive, psychological, physical, most psychosocial and behavioral function, through interaction with a professional music therapist. Many times people assume something to be music therapy, but it really isn’t if it isn’t provided by a music therapist.
FLATOW: And that’s a good point, Dr. Bradt, is it not? It has to be somebody who knows what they’re doing, a trained musical therapist.
BRADT: Absolutely, and music therapists are actually trained at different levels. They can be trained at a Bachelor’s level, Master’s or even Ph.D. level. But as Dr. Tomaino just pointed out, it’s very important that music is provided by a trained music therapist because music truly plays a primary role in the therapeutic process, to strengthen the client’s abilities as well as to address their needs….
Article includes podcast and transcript
- New Toronto centre hopes to lead the way in music and medicine research (thestar.com)
- Music therapy to cure patients (news.bioscholar.com)
- Music Program Grows at Esther Ashkenas Central Park Early Learning Center (ahrcnyc.wordpress.com)
- Music Can Soothe Cancer Patients’ Anxiety (livescience.com)
- Music Therapy May Ease Anxiety in Cancer Patients (sanfrancisco.ibtimes.com)
- A Quirk Of Speech May Become A New Vocal Style (scientificamerican.com)
- You: Music soothes anxiety, pain in cancer patients – CNN (news.google.com)
- Music soothes anxiety, pain in cancer patients (cnn.com)
- Music therapy quells pain in people with cancer (cbc.ca)
- Rep. Gabby Giffords and Mom: Overcoming Speech Disorders (aarp.org)
(Originally posted by Crounse, Bill…. 4 leading trends and technologies that will transform health and healthcare in 2012 and beyond. HealthBlog, Posted on 15th of December 2011.)
Bill Crounse, the Microsoft’s worldwide health senior director, gives his predictions for leading technologies that will impact the eHealth in 2012.
“Among the leading trends for such transformation is the so-called “consumerization of IT”. Powerful consumer technologies like social networking, smartphones, tablets, cloud computing, digital media, and gaming are opening new platforms and channels for delivering innovative health solutions. Let me therefore offer 4 solution areas that I believe will deliver real impact for better health in 2012 and beyond.
- Tele-Health Services
Regulatory and reimbursement reforms will stimulate the market to deliver more cost-effective modalities for both preventive services and care. That will increasingly include the delivery of health information and medical services directly into the home whenever possible. So much of what healthcare providers do is focused on the analysis of signs, symptoms and results, dissemination of information, and prescriptions for treatment . Much of this can, and increasingly will be done, “virtually”.
- Remote Monitoring and Mobile Health
Remote monitoring with advanced sensor technologies coupled with mobile devices and services as outlined above, will make it possible to care for more patients in less acute settings, including the home, and to do so at scale with fewer staff. I am particularly impressed by companies that are working with regulators (such as the FDA) to develop approved medical devices and secure gateways that facilitate clinical information exchanges.
- The Kinect Effect and Health Gaming
Never have I seen such excitement from partners and customers about the possibilities for this technology to transform the way we get health information, collaborate with experts, and receive certain kinds of services. One day we may even participate in virtual classes and group counseling using this technology. It’s not only quite practical, but once again a way to scale services while lowering costs, not to mention increasing convenience for everyone.
- Big Data, Cloud and Analytics
Some people might say our problem isn’t a paucity of information it is too much information. What we lack are the tools to put all that information to good use. Cloud computing and connected devices give us the means to access the information we need, whenever and wherever we need it. Smart devices and powerful software give us tools to make sense of it. Throw in a modicum of artificial intelligence and machine learning and you have a recipe that finally releases us from the jaws of too much data into a world of understanding and wisdom.
- MHealth- Moving Fast, Raising Hope, And Questions (jflahiff.wordpress.com)
with numerous references on the recent mHealth summit, related references, related resources
- What is cloud computing ? What are its advantages ? (techlavya.wordpress.com)
- Cloud Computing (thaalukal.wordpress.com)
- How Microsoft is Entering the Healthcare Business (pcworld.com)
- eHealth and Patient Engagement: Be ‘Now’ or Be Gone (recruitingforhealthcarejobs.wordpress.com)
- Mobile health: Hallelujah or bah humbug? (finance.fortune.cnn.com)
- eHealth2012 – Vienna, Austria – 10-11 May, 2012 (imianews.wordpress.com)
- Microsoft Bows Out of the Clinical Market (chilmarkresearch.com)
From the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Press Release
New educational program reminds parents to keep medication “Up and Away and Out of Sight”
Each year, one of every 150 two–year–olds visits an emergency department in the United States for an unintentional medication overdose, most often after finding and eating or drinking medicines without adult supervision. To inform parents and caregivers about safe medication storage and what to do in case of an emergency, CDC, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association Education Foundation and a coalition of partners are launching an educational program, Up and Away and Out of Sight, encouraging parents to follow a few simple steps to protect children.
“Parents may not be aware of the danger posed by leaving medications where young children can reach them. In recent years, the number of accidental overdoses in young children has increased by 20 percent,” said Dan Budnitz, M.D., M.P.H., director of CDC’s Medication Safety Program. “A few simple steps – done every time – can protect our children.”
To protect children, parents and caregivers can:
- Pick a place children cannot reach. Find a storage place too high for a child to reach or see. Any medicine or vitamin can cause harm if taken the wrong way, even medicine you buy without a prescription.
- Put medicines and vitamins away every time you use them. Never leave medicines or vitamins out on a kitchen counter or at a sick child’s bedside, even if you have to give the medicine again in a few hours.
- Hear the click. Make sure the safety cap is locked. If the medicine has a locking cap that turns, twist it until the click is heard.
- Teach children about medicine safety. Never tell children that medicine is candy to get them to take it, even if the child does not like to take his or her medicine.
- Tell guests about medicine safety. Ask houseguests and visitors to keep purses, bags, or coats that have medicines in them up and away and out of sight when they are visiting.
- Be prepared in case of emergency. Program the poison control number into home and cell phones (1–800–222–1222).
- Many Young Children Overdosing from Medicines at Home (aa47.wordpress.com)
- Many young children overdosing from medicines at home (gloucestercitynews.net)
- Many Young Children Overdosing from Medicines at Home (cdc.gov)
- Many Toddlers Wind Up in ER After Accidental Overdose (nlm.nih.gov)
- Accidental Drug Overdoses on the Rise Among Kids (webmd.com)
- Over-the-Counter Medicine: Kids Aren’t Just Small Adults (education.com)