The consumer electronics industry is encroaching on the hearing aid business, offering products that are far less expensive and available without the involvement of audiologists or other professionals.
That is forcing a re-examination of the entire system for providing hearing aids, which critics say is too costly and cumbersome, hindering access to devices vital for the growing legions of older Americans. “The audiology profession is obviously scared, for good reason, right now,” said Abram Bailey, an audiologist and chief executive of Hearing Tracker, a consumer website. (Pollack, 4/20)
Read entire article from The New York Times.
Kaiser Health News’ Mary Agnes Carey reports: “As the health law turned six Wednesday, federal officials proposed the expansion of a Medicare diabetes prevention program funded by the landmark measure.
The pilot program, developed and administered by the YMCA, helped Medicare enrollees at high risk of developing the disease improve their diets, increase their exercise and lose about 5 percent of their body weight. Beneficiaries in the program, funded by an $11.8 million grant provided by the health law, attended weekly meetings with a lifestyle coach to develop long-term changes to their diet, discussed ways to get more physical activity and made behavior changes that would help control their weight and decrease their risk of Type 2 diabetes. Participants could also attend monthly follow-up meetings to help keep their new habits in place.” (Carey, 3/23)
Read entire article here.
Adjusted for inflation, overall Medicare spending is projected to more than double between 2010 and 2030 to about $1.2 trillion.
After the last of the baby boomers become fully eligible for Medicare, the federal health program can expect significantly higher costs in 2030 both because of the high number of beneficiaries and because many are expected to be significantly less healthy than previous generations, reports Kaiser Health News.
The typical Medicare beneficiary who is 65 or older then will more likely be obese, disabled and suffering from chronic conditions such as heart disease and high blood pressure than those in 2010, according to a report by the University for Southern California’s Schaeffer Center of Health Policy and Economics.
Adjusted for inflation, overall Medicare spending is projected to more than double between 2010 and 2030 to about $1.2 trillion. A massive influx of baby boomers into Medicare will be the main driver. With the last baby boomers turning 65 in 2029, Medicare rolls are expected to number 67 million Americans in 2030, the Schaeffer Center said.