Friday Fix: December 15, 2017

America's Problem with Medication Adherence, North Country Hospitals Partner with Crouse, and the 'Village Movement' Helps Seniors Age Independently

friday fix

We get it – keeping up with daily news is hard.

That’s why every other week, North Country Vitals picks three pieces of important healthcare news and compiles them into the Friday FixSome are local and others affect our state, country, or world. We even do our best to break down complicated subjects and offer commentary to help you understand how the news affects your daily life.

So, what has been making headlines in healthcare recently? Here’s what we found:

1. “People Don’t Take Their Pills. Only One Thing Seems to Help.”

According to this report, which originally appeared on the New York Times blog, “The Upshot,” Americans spent nearly half a trillion dollars on prescription drugs last year, but “half or more” of that medicine was never taken. The article claims that 60% of people admit to forgetting to take their medication.

Even among patients with costly or life-threatening chronic conditions, medication non-adherence is common. Despite various attempts to improve adherence — ranging from patient education, to simplified dosing, to “digital pills” — success is lacking. The result is more hospitalizations, worsened health outcomes, and decreased quality of life.

However, evidence shows that at least one approach for improving adherence can work — reducing the price of medication: “When drugs cost them less, patients are more likely to fill prescriptions. Even if people have already purchased drugs, they may skip doses — or split the pills — because of concerns that they won’t be able to afford future refills.”

To read the full article, click here.

2. “New partnership connects three rural north country hospitals to Crouse Health”

In this article from the Watertown Daily Times, we learn about a new clinical affiliation between Crouse Health in Syracuse and three North Country hospitals — Carthage Area Hospital, Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center, and River Hospital.

This partnership is intended to bring greater financial security to the three North Country hospitals while allowing them access to specialized services in person and via telemedicine. Each hospital will maintain independence in its “governance, budgeting, labor agreements and will not move or remove any local services,” the article states.

“We feel very optimistic about what this means for our patients and our future,” River Hospital CEO Ben Moore III told the Times.

Click here for the full article.

3. “‘Village Movement’ Allows Elderly To Age In Their Homes”

This radio broadcast from NPR‘s daily news program “All Things Considered” talks about an up-and-coming program that allows older adults to receive services they need while continuing to age in their homes and neighborhoods.

According to reporter Ina Jaffe, the “village movement” has expanded to more than 200 locations in the United States. It is a grass-roots movement created by seniors who wanted to stay independent and active in their communities. Together, they pay yearly dues to collectively receive discounted access to services like home health workers, contractors or home meal delivery.

To hear more about the “village movement,” click here.

Stop by December 29 for the next Friday Fix!

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