Giving Back to Whom?

Picking the best nonprofits!

If you want to do volunteer work or donate money, how do you determine which organizations are excellent? And which should we avoid?

One objective source for information on nonprofits is Charity Navigator:

“Founded in 2001, Charity Navigator has become the nation’s largest and most-utilized evaluator of charities. In our quest to help donors, our team of professional analysts has examined tens of thousands of nonprofit financial documents. We’ve used this knowledge to develop an unbiased, objective, numbers-based rating system to assess over 9,000 of America’s best-known and some lesser known, but worthy, charities.”

“Specifically, Charity Navigator’s rating system examines two broad areas of a charity’s performance; their Financial Health and their Accountability & Transparency. Our ratings show givers how efficiently we believe a charity will use their support today, how well it has sustained its programs and services over time and their level of commitment to good governance, best practices and openness with information.”

Here is an example of a Charity Navigator review, the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research. Click the chart to see the full rating of Lustgarten.

Giving Back to Whom?

 

Too Many Americans Putting Off Medical Care

54% delaying medical care due to costs.

Unfortunately, a large number of Americans put off getting proper medical care. Why? Often, because they cannot afford it.

Consider the results of recent research by Earnin, as reported by Peter Griffin:

“Health care is an essential part of many Americans lives. Yet, money can be a factor in whether or not they’re getting the medical attention they need. Earnin looked at the impact money has on taking care of oneself in a pair of September 2018 surveys. The dire financial wellness of most adults is bleeding into their actual wellness.”

“Over half of Americans (54 percent) say they’ve delayed medical care for themselves in the last 12 months because they couldn’t afford it. And almost a quarter of Americans (23 percent) have delayed medical care for over one year due to financial issues. Among people who delayed care in the past year, 55 percent delayed dental/orthodontic work, 43 percent delayed eye care, and 30 percent delayed annual exams.”

Overall, “Nearly half of Americans (49 percent) say their health tends to take a back seat to other financial obligations.”

Take a look at this chart from Earnin. Then, read more about the study results.

Too Many Americans Putting Off Medical Care
 

New Cancer Drug Approved

Those of us battling with cancer often feel research is not moving fast enough.

Yet, researchers are working quite hard. And billions of dollars are being spent.

Quite recently, the FDA approved a new and VERY expensive cancer drug. As CNN reports:

“Vitrakvi is the first medication developed specifically to target tumors based on gene mutations, not their location in the body.”

 

Amazon to Sell Health Devices

Today, we look at Amazon’s move into medical devices.

Last month, we asked: Would You Buy Your Prescriptions at Amazon?  It seems that the online behemoth knows no limits. And it realizes the enormous potential of health-related products.

According to Business Insider:

“Amazon is now offering an exclusive brand of consumer-focused medical devices to help consumers manage diabetes and hypertension, according to CNBC. The brand, dubbed Choice, was developed by health consultancy firm Arcadia Group. Choice will initially include blood pressure cuffs and glucose monitors with supporting mobile apps that offer measurement tracking and reminders. Exclusive consumer-facing medical supplies will complement Amazon’s existing offerings and should be a boon for its healthcare play.”

“But Amazon will need to focus on building consumer trust if plans to use its new health products for a broader healthcare play. On average, more than a third of consumers are ‘not at all comfortable sharing information as simple as personal fitness details and prescription records with Amazon in exchange for its services, per a May 2018 Alpha survey.”

Look at how far Amazon has to go in getting shoppers’personal information.

Amazon to Sell Health Devices
 

Wearables and Health Care

Recently, fitness trackers and other wearables have gained more popularity as health monitors. And this is expected to continue.

As Business Insider Intelligence reports:

“The health-care industry is undergoing a transformation due to pressure from ballooning healthcare costs, a rising burden of chronic disease, and shifting consumer expectations. Thus, wearables — including smartwatches, fitness trackers, and other connected devices — play a key role in this transformation.”

“U.S. consumer use of wearables for health purposes jumped from 9% in 2014 to 33% in 2018, according to Accenture. And penetration should continue to climb. With more than 80% of consumers willing to wear tech that measures health data. The growing adoption of wearables, and the breadth of health functions they offer, will capture a fuller picture of consumer health and behavior. Thus enabling health-care organizations to differentiate from the competition, drive value, and engage consumers.”

“In this new report, Business Insider Intelligence details the current and future market landscape of wearables in the U.S. health-care sector. We explore key drivers behind wearable usage by insurers, health-care providers, and employers. And the opportunities wearables afford to each of these stakeholders.”

“Consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable sharing the health data captured in these devices with their doctors, employers, and insurers. Such data offer opportunities to improve outcomes, reduce health-care costs, and engage customers. Providers can use wearables to improve chronic disease management, lessen the burden of a burgeoning staff shortage, and navigate a changing reimbursement model. Employers can combine wearables with cash incentives to lower insurance costs and improve employee productivity.”

 

Would You Buy Your Prescriptions at Amazon?

Until now drugstore chains, independent pharmacies, mail-order delivery from prescription suppliers, and in-store pharmacies in retail stores have been the major ways that we buy prescription drugs.

Now, Amazon intends to change this — as it has so many other business segments. So, would you buy your prescriptions at Amazon?

According to Business Insider Intelligence:

“More than half of U.S. consumers say they would ditch their current pharmacy for Amazon. And Amazon’s $1 billion deal to acquire online pharmacy startup PillPack is bad news for CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens, and other pharmacies. The majority of respondents (57%) in an exclusive Business Insider Intelligence survey said they would use a pharmacy service offered by Amazon over their current pharmacy.”

“Amazon’s strengths are price, product selection, and delivery speed — all of which could be applied to retail pharmaceuticals. While it’s unclear how Amazon aims to use PillPack, we think consumers anticipate lower prices and convenience.” 

“Amazon still has a number of hurdles to overcome before offering a full-fledged pharmacy service. For instance, Amazon could have trouble forging relationships with pharmacy benefits managers who could see Amazon’s entry into the pharmaceutical market as a direct threat.”

Would You Buy Your Prescriptions at Amazon?

 

International Health Efficiency Scores

Click the image to learn more about the health-efficiency index and to see the latest index rankings. The United States is tied for 54th!

The United States annually spends more than $9,500 per person for health care. Nonetheless, the effectiveness of this spending lags far behind many other nations (that spend a lot less).

According to a recent Bloomberg report:

“Want medical care without quickly draining your fortune? Try Singapore or Hong Kong as your healthy havens. The U.S. will cost you the most for treatment, both in absolute terms and relative to average incomes. Yet, the life expectancy of Americans — about 79 years — was exceeded by more than 25 countries and territories, according to an annual Bloomberg analysis in almost 200 economies.” 

“A health-efficiency index was then created to rank those with average lifespans of at least 70 years, GDP per-capita exceeding $5,000 and a minimum population of 5 million. And Americans aren’t getting their medical money’s worth, according to each of the categories.” 

“The U.S. had the second-highest per-capita spending on health care at $9,536. Switzerland’s average based on gross domestic product was $9,818. But that $282 supplement helped deliver an extra 4.2 years of life — with the average Swiss lifespan of almost 83.”

Click the image to learn more about the health-efficiency index and to see the latest index rankings. The United States is tied for 54th!

International Health Efficiency Scores