The Debate Over Transparency

Having more information is a must.

Among many other issues, we know of the debate over transparency with regard to all aspects of our health care.

As we reported before, here are related posts:

In 2020, the Debate Over Transparency Goes On

Recently, Wolters Klur conducted a major survey on the American healthcare system. Note: Click the image below to access the 15-page summary of the report. A free login is required.

“Healthcare continues to be elevated to the national stage. Hospital leaders, those on the front lines of care, and consumers are assessing their priorities In the coming year (2020), and beyond. Due to shifting healthcare policies and rising costs.”

“Providers and payers are preparing for a cadre of tougher policies on everything from sharing patient data across a broader network of healthcare players to more pricing transparency. Including real-time pricing. As well as information about medications. Hospital leaders are making tough decisions on how to squeeze further costs out of the system and more effectively manage care over the next few years. And, consumers are contemplating the best ways to manage their own health under the burden of higher costs, new models of care, and rules on benefits and coverage.”

The Debate Over Transparency
 

Volunteering Is GREAT

Thanks my UCP buddies for giving back to ME!

As this blog title notes, “Volunteering Is GREAT.” And I realized this more than ever while being laid up after my knee replacement surgery.

Last year, I wrote: If you aren’t already doing so, consider volunteering. It’s a true win-win, for those you are helping as well as for YOU. 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 It is so rewarding!!

While I was recuperating, I was really, really bored. Besides doctor appointments and physical therapy, I had little to do. As well as limited mobility.

But my United Cerebral Palsy buddies whom I mentor really cheered me up. They called me as a group. Amazingly, I recognized all of their voices. They also sent me a couple of cards signed by many of them. That really made happy.

When I returned on a limited basis two weeks ago, they gave me incredible welcomes. Yelling out Joel, Joel, Joel. Running to give me hugs. And presenting  me with homemade cards. I was almost in tears.

The preceding is what we get back from volunteering: An incredible sense of making a difference with someone else who needs it. I missed volunteering as much as they missed me.

Here’s a story I wrote about the president of our local self-advocacy group, Jaquan Giles. It appeared in the UCP – LI December 2019 newsletter.

Volunteering Is GREAT
 

Another Great Resource – Healthy People

Terrific government Web site that covers a wide range of health topics.

HealthyPeople.gov is another great resource to add to our library: “

“Healthy People provides science-based, 10-year national objectives for improving the health of all Americans. For 3 decades, Healthy People has established benchmarks and monitored progress over time in order to: Encourage collaborations across communities and sectors. Empower individuals toward making informed health decisions. Measure the impact of prevention activities.’

First, click the image to visit the home page.

Another Great Resource - Healthy PeopleThen, visit the part of the site dedicated to having healthier people in 2030.

Another Great Resource - Healthy People
 

Patient Rating of Hospitals Declined in 2019

How do YOU rate the hospitals caring for YOU?

As we know, the quality of in-hospital care greatly contributes to our health. Thus, it’s important for us to have confidence in the quality of the hospitals that care for us.

Unfortunately, in 2019 Americans’ views toward hospitals showed a decline.

According to Paige Minemyer, writing for FierceHealthCare:

“Consumer satisfaction with hospitals took a tumble this year (2019) while approval of health insurers improved. The American Consumer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) released its annual report examining the financial and insurance sectors and found that hospitals earned a score of 72 on their indicator,  based on a survey of more than 30,000 consumers and reflecting their perceptions of the quality of products they use.”

“That’s a notable drop from hospitals’ 2018 score on the index, which was 76. The decline is driven by a substantial drop in consumers’ rankings for emergency department care, from 73 in 2018 to a 67 for 2019. “

“By contrast, patient satisfaction with outpatient care settings continues to climb — ambulatory care earned a 77 score for the second year in a row. Outpatient care provided by hospitals earned a lower score, a 75, which dropped from a 78 score in 2018.”

“The report flags the wait times in the emergency department as a key factor in declining patient satisfaction with emergency care.”

Patient Rating of Hospitals Declined in 2019

A new report examines consumer satisfaction with hospitals and health plans. (Studio 642/Getty Images)
 

I Am Now a Five-Year Cancer Survivor

Hope is a precious commodity.

 

Amazing. Unbelievable. Lucky. Blessed. I am now a five-year cancer survivor.  Although some define the 5-year period as beginning at the date of diagnosis, I prefer to use the date of my Whipple surgery for pancreatic cancer. February 12, 2015. So, exactly five years ago today.

I am kind of melancholy about reaching this point. But I don’t feel the euphoria about beating the less than 10 percent survival rate for PC that I expected. I just learned this is not uncommon. According to Dr. SP, a leading psychologist, my melancholy reflects a lot of subconscious feelings about the traumatic events during my journey. Even though I try as hard as possible to be upbeat on a daily basis. Also, it relates to my profound sorrow about others with cancer who have not been so lucky. And my own continuing challenges.

Live life every day. Live as long as you can, as well as you can.

Observations about Surviving Cancer

From Cancer.Net:

“A person who has had cancer is commonly called a cancer survivor. ‘Co-survivor’ is sometimes used to describe a person who has cared for a loved one with cancer.”

“Not everyone who has had cancer likes the word ‘survivor.’ The reasons for this may vary. For instance, they may simply identify more with being ‘a person who has had cancer.’ Or if they are dealing with cancer every day they may describe themselves as ‘living with cancer.’ Therefore, they may not think of themselves as a survivor. Living with a history of cancer is different for each person. But most people have the common belief that life is different after cancer.”

“Other common reactions that people have after cancer include:

              • Appreciating life more.
              • Being more accepting of themselves.
              • Feeling more anxious about their health.
              • Not knowing how to cope after treatment ends.”

           

        • Now, check out this video.

       

All Not Rosy on World Cancer Day

YOUR support is needed. Please help!

Tuesday February 4, 2020 was World Cancer Day. While some progress has been made over the years, a lot more needs to be done. YOU can help by donating to a cancer research program of your choice.. Thanks.

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As Felix Richter reports for Statista:

“Honoring the 20th anniversary of World Cancer Day, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as part of the WHO released two coordinated reports highlighting the current state of the world’s fight against the disease. While the WHO’s Report on Cancer aims to ‘set the global agenda on cancer, mobilize stakeholders and help countries set priorities for investing in cancer control,’ the IARC’s World Cancer Report ‘focuses on prevention and offers the most comprehensive overview of relevant research available to date.’”

“The latter report highlights that, despite steady progress in cancer prevention and treatment, the global cancer burden is still increasing as the number of new cases is expected to grow by 50 percent between 2018 and 2040. As the following chart illustrates, the IARC recognized 10.1 million new cancer cases in 2000, 18.1 million in 2018, and is expecting 27 million new cases per year by 2040. According to the report, cancer is the first or second leading cause of premature mortality (i.e. deaths at ages 30-69 years) in more than 90 countries worldwide, killing 9.6 million people in 2018 alone.”

“Further highlighting the relevance of cancer as an issue concerning all of us, the IARC cites estimates from 2018, stating that 1 in 8 men and 1 in 10 women are likely to develop the disease during their lifetime. Aside from the millions of lives lost prematurely each year, cancer also bears a huge economic burden. According to WHO estimates from 2017, global cancer care costs are piling up to more than $1 trillion annually.”

PLEASE DONATE! Click here to contribute to the American Cancer Society.

All Not Rosy on World Cancer Day

All Not Rosy on World Cancer Day