What is senior life insurance? It is an insurance policy aimed at covering expenses that come with old age like medical costs, nursing care costs, remaining debts and burial or funeral expenses.
Senior life insurance for that reason, should be purchased to ease the financial burden that comes with old age, and ultimately, death. The insurance is ideal for those in retirement especially if they don’t have permanent life insurance or their employers stopped paying for life insurance after they retired.
Senior Life Insurance Is Not Necessary If:
You have saved enough to cater for your final days and burial expenses.
You have no credit card debts, loans or mortgages that will require to be settled before or after your death.
These are generally funeral costs which include expenses on body dressing and viewing, transportation, casket, embalming and hospital bills included.
Cremation may not cover much expenses and it’s a bit economical.
What Life Insurance Offer To Seniors?
You may be wondering, what really constitutes senior insurance and how you stand to benefit from it in this modern era.
Well, you are not necessarily the beneficiary of life insurance, but loved ones who are tasked with the facilitation of a decent send off.
Your loved ones are the same people who will make major decisions about taking you to a nursing home if need be, and settle involved charges. In details, these are the benefits of purchasing life insurance.
· Long-Care Financing
With old comes health complications like chronic illnesses and other medical issues. Most prevalent illnesses at old age include ALS, renal failure, cancer, stroke, organ transplant and more.
Your loved ones may also consider taking you to a nursing home if it happens to be the most logical option at the moment. All these expenses are catered for effortlessly when there is a term life insurance or a Medicare plan in place.
· Peace of Mind
How? Because of the fact that your loved ones will not struggle to cater for funeral arrangements after your death. So, much money goes into organizing and facilitating decent and modern burials, and a funeral life insurance compensation could come in handy. However, this type of life insurance is particularly helpful for seniors over 90 who can’t quality for a traditional plan.
· Debts Settlement
Death at times knocks when least expected but in old age, it is expected. However, you may pass away before settling debts leaving your loved ones with the task of settling them. Such debts could be medical bills, or estate taxes and loans. Part of the senior insurance compensation could be used to settle most of the debts, if not all of them.
By Mifan Careem, vice president of solutions architecture, WSO2.
In 2020, we’ve seen the pandemic accelerate the need for greater healthcare interoperability and digital solutions. Notably, providers that have offered telemedicine, virtual visits and other digital services fared better than those that have not.
At the same time, provider and payer organizations are now more focused on value-based care measured by patient outcomes rather than reactive patient care. Such innovations have been made possible by integrated data sources within and across the healthcare organization.
Too often however, the lack of interoperability continues to stifle innovation that would otherwise benefit the healthcare industry’s most important stakeholder: the patient. The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) Cures act and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Interoperability and Patient Access Final Rule (CMS-9115-F) set to go into effect on July 1, 2021, aim to change that.
The new ONC and CMS rules, which target U.S. organizations, require healthcare payers and providers to provide patients with open access to their data and a secure data exchange between the different parties. As a result, patients should have improved access to health information. Meanwhile, the improved interoperability among providers and payers is expected to trigger innovation and pave the way to a newer app ecosystem.
APIs are key to compliance
Interoperability is a critical component within the healthcare system as records are digitized and must be easily shared between institutions and payers to improve the overall care of patients. The lack of interoperability is hampering the industry’s ability to transform and streamline services. While there have been attempts by the organizations including Health Level Seven (HL7) to promote interoperability and responsible data sharing over the years, concerns and issues with granting patients access to their data remain.
To achieve successful interoperability, healthcare payers and institutions must use APIs—specifically those aligned with the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) standards—to exchange structured healthcare data, such as those used for electronic health records (EHRs), digital health applications and patient use.
The CMS rule is designed to help simplify how payers and providers use APIs to drive interoperability and data sharing. However, as with all regulations, CIOs need the right strategy to implement the technology and steps to ensure compliance. As this is a new rule, there are no prior examples to follow, and if CIOs do not effectively follow a strategy, they may be found at fault on July 1.
There are four challenges that healthcare CIOs will need to overcome to ensure successful compliance and more importantly the transition to a patient-centered approach—with services delivered when, and where, consumers want.
By Devin Partida, technology writer and the editor-in-chief, ReHack.com.
Healthcare providers commonly listen to heart and lung sounds when examining people. They aim to pick up on abnormalities that give them more insights into patients’ conditions, and those diagnostic methods aren’t going anywhere.
However, pioneering research suggests that screening could also happen by analyzing someone’s voice with the help of artificial intelligence (AI). Here’s a look at some ongoing developments.
A Collaborative Effort Looks for Vocal Biomarkers
Even the most skilled physicians can’t always detect signs of trouble during a patient’s routine examination. That’s especially true if a person does not have external symptoms. However, biomarkers indicate possible abnormal processes within the body. Scientists have linked some of them to cancer and high cholesterol, for example.
Researchers at the Mayo Clinic recently teamed up with an Israeli company called Vocalis Health. The two organizations initially worked together to learn about voice-based biomarkers for pulmonary hypertension — an often undiagnosed condition that causes high blood pressure in the lungs. The earlier efforts established a connection between the disorder and specific vocal qualities. This recent undertaking seeks to identify the specific vocal biomarkers associated with the medical problem.
Vocalis Health’s technology works on any connected device, and it provides a noninvasive way to check for medical problems. Although this current initiative focuses on only one disorder, there are plans to expand the technology to apply to other issues.
Researchers Working on a Voice-Based COVID-19 Screening Tool
Predictive analytics tools have furthered impressive progress in the medical sector. However, they are not free from bias. Some medical technology companies strive to build algorithms that treat the data as objectively as possible. For example, one company combines three models to get a more holistic view of patient outcomes. It also identifies people across diverse populations to avoid overlooking underserved groups.
By Dr. John Showalter, MD, MSIS, Chief Product Officer, Jvion.
COVID-19 catalyzed a rapid shift to telehealth that was years in the making. Reimbursement, once a barrier to adoption, was overcome when CMS announced that Medicare would cover telehealth to allow socially-distant care to continue. As a result, 69% of all patient encounters were done via telehealth in April, with that proportion even higher in areas with severe outbreaks of COVID-19.
Today, April feels like a lifetime ago, and telehealth accounts for only 21% of visits. But the consensus is clear: telehealth is here to stay.
A recent survey found almost 70% of providers were more motivated to continue using telehealth after the pandemic, citing better access to care (68%), more timely care (83%), improved patient health (60%), and improved financial health for their practices (57%). And now that CMS has permanently expanded telehealth coverage, any uncertainty over the long-term financial viability of telehealth can be put to rest.
Of course, not everything can be done via telehealth. Telehealth works great for chronic disease management, behavioral health, hospital/ED follow-ups and preventative care, but there are many procedures that can only be done in person. How then can providers determine which patients should be seen in person and who can be seen via telehealth?
This question is now more urgent than ever, as hospitals nationwide confront a surge in patients admitted with Covid-19. To manage capacity and keep patients safe, providers will want to see patients virtually whenever possible.
Deferred care is another concern for providers. Some 41% of US adults deferred medical care they needed this year to avoid the coronavirus. To prevent these patients from deteriorating and suffering worse health outcomes in the future, it’s critical that providers re-engage with these patients as soon as possible before it’s too late. Telehealth is often the safest way to do so.
When the COVID-19 pandemic first came into the country and hit hospitals like a tidal wave, we saw a rapid shift to digital care. More than half of consumers say their providers now offer virtual care. And use of digital tools like telemedicine increased by 50% during the first quarter of 2020, compared with the same period in 2019. These stats are a sign that providers must work to truly understand the importance of digital-forward engagement strategies when it comes to building strong patient relationships.
Although recent vaccine approvals have brought some much-needed good news, the U.S is currently reckoning with the deadliest wave of the pandemic. This means that in addition to a continued public health crisis, patients and providers alike will still be faced with significant economic hardship as we enter 2021 – intensifying the need to improve the healthcare financial experience.
How can this be done? Here are three trends that I see coming to fruition as we continue fighting this pandemic in 2021:
2021: The Year of Smarter Heath-Tech Adoptions
The economic hardship brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic has affected both the patient and provider. With the highest unemployment rates since the Great Depression this year, patients are feeling more cost-conscious about care decisions than ever. According to our recent consumer survey, 84% of respondents are worried about paying their healthcare costs in the next year.
What do you do when you’re on a budget? You shop around for the best price. Patients were already increasingly expecting healthcare to mirror their experiences with e-commerce and shopping before the pandemic. The financial strain caused by COVID-19 simply exacerbated this shift, lighting a fire under providers to adopt smart technologies that can consolidate patient information and “consumerize” the experience. Cohesive, consolidated and consumer-centric digital access points for all patient interactions have become the norm, and providers will need to adapt to meet these expectations.
As for providers themselves, pandemic-related shutdowns and stay-at-home orders caused financial strain for these organizations, with millions of elective procedures cancelled. This alone resulted in an estimated loss of $16.3 to $17.7 billion per month in reimbursement and $4 to $5.4 billion per month in net income for health systems.
In response to this financial strain, providers will increasingly look to invest strategically in tools that support their business goals and help them gain a competitive edge. Over half of consumers have delayed care due to fear of catching COVID-19, so getting patients back in the “door” – whether it is physically or virtually – will be crucial. Think about it from the point of view of ap patient – wouldn’t it make a difference to you if your doctor had the option of filling out paperwork and insurance information online, as opposed to waiting in a crowded waiting room?
There’s no doubt that technology has really improved people’s lives. In fact, in all the ways that technology has transformed the way that people communicate, learn, and work, none are as more impactful as the changes and development in the healthcare industry.
From the introduction of medical apparatuses like X-ray machines to the creation of new surgical techniques, technology has helped people become healthier and live longer. In the coming years, you can expect technology to continue to advance and improve even more.
One area where technology has really helped a lot and is continuing to do so is patient care. The use of modern technology has allowed patient care to be safer and more reliable.
Thanks to information technology, nurses, doctors, and other healthcare professionals who are working on the frontline now have hand-held devices that allow them to track and record important real-time patient data. They can then share it instantly so the patient’s medical history will be updated, showing just how important information technology is to the healthcare industry.
Being able to get lab results, record vital signs, and other critical patient data at a moment’s notice has transformed the quality of care and efficiency that a patient can expect to receive upon entering the healthcare system.
When the COVID-19 pandemic first began affecting the United States, the entire healthcare industry moved swiftly to leverage existing technology and practices to meet the intensive demands of the global health crisis. Amid this incredibly tumultuous year, however, the healthcare community has also been able to actively develop new solutions and approaches to address some of the biggest problems we face, both related to the pandemic and beyond.
We connected with some of the leading voices in health IT to find out what they considered to be the biggest innovations of the past year and how they expect the landscape will continue to evolve in 2021, from advances in patient experience to greater public health data connectivity and more widespread digitization.
We saw prolific adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) solutions throughout 2020, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, provider organizations leveraged chatbots and other rudimentary virtual symptom screening tools to decrease infection spread and address patients’ care needs without placing even more burden on the workforce. As we continue living in a global health crisis, we will see more provider organizations leveling up AI-enabled capabilities to help manage patient volumes as they ebb and flow during COVID-19 surges. Specifically, we will see providers bringing mature, AI-driven diagnostic tools into the exam room to provide reliable “second opinions” on demand.
As providers work to address the pandemic, they will also adjust their practice of medicine to better meet the needs of their BIPOC patients. In 2020, COVID-19 and racial injustice has highlighted serious racial disparities and underscored how important it is for health leaders to improve diagnostic accuracy and outcomes for traditionally disadvantaged populations. In 2021, I predict we will see greater inclusion and representation of patients of color in our medical education curricula and resources, clinical trials, and pool of medical students and residents.
2020 will be remembered for many things but in terms of healthcare information technology (HIT), it was the year of telehealth. 2021 will be the year that patients, providers, and payers blow the doors off the idea that “virtual” equals “video doctor’s appointments.” Virtual HIT enabling doctors and nurses to do their rounds virtually from down the hospital hall or the other side of the world will grow in popularity. It’ll be the year that hospital bedside patient engagement technology demonstrates its tremendous value in enabling higher quality and satisfaction from a pandemic-safe distance. We’ll also begin to see an increase of terrific HIT solutions integrating with the data plumbing that is an EHR to finally give nurses new efficiency and satisfaction.
As we look forward to 2021, healthcare IT will see a continued focus on the COVID-19 pandemic response, including the highly anticipated roll out of a vaccine. Vaccine administration is a key component of an effective pandemic response plan at both a local and state level. Health information exchanges (HIEs) have the ability to ingest and leverage data, including demographic information, from individual access points of care across the health system and will play a critical role in matching the COVID-19 vaccine data to the correct patient. HIEs also have the potential to streamline the reporting of individual vaccination information to the state for analytics. Harnessing this technology to accurately track vaccine data in near real time will provide crucial insight around who has been immunized and who hasn’t; who has received which vaccine and any side effects in the event that multiple vaccines are available; the ability to target under serviced populations and support ongoing resource planning as we continue to navigate these unprecedented times.
The goal of therapy is to relieve or heal disorders, mental illness or rehabilitate individuals and help them function better socially. Therapy comes in many different types, based on the intended goal. The treatment cost depends on the accreditation of the mental health professional, your insurance provider, and the methods used.
The average cost of therapy in the U.S. ranges from $60 to $120 per session, and most Americans can pay anywhere from $20 and $250 per hour depending on the number of factors including coverage through an insurance plan, the number of sessions scheduled in advanced, patient location and the qualifications of the psychiatrist.
There are several ways that psychiatric care is delivered: in-person, online, and even over the phone.
Mental health professions charge per hour or session. Some may scale their prices that fluctuate based on your income. Therapists in private practice typically are more expensive than mental health clinics.
Costs are impacted by the number of sessions scheduled, the patient’s geography, and the health insurance provider, among other factors. The current state of the patient’s mental health issues determines which type of therapist a patient will see.
Insurance coverage for therapy
In the U.S., laws such as the mental health parity law require specific benefit plans to cover mental health therapy as they would cover physical conditions. Some insurers provide ample allowances in their plans; in other cases, employers craft excellent benefit plans with robust mental health coverage.
Owners of Affordable Care Act insurance plans have access to basic levels of mental healthcare.
Individual therapy cost
A patient can expect to pay at least $150 per hour session for individuals sessions. These are the most expensive.
Couples therapy varies depending on the professional seen and where they are located—counselors specializing in couples and family therapy charge anywhere between $70 and $250 per hour.
Some counseling centers offer group therapy when they feel that their collective experiences can help them move forward. Multi-session group therapy rates are available, which cost $700 per eight-week course.
For private therapy, expect to pay as much as $50 for a one-hour session. Expect as much as $300 per session in larger metropolitan areas.
Psychiatrists typically cost more than a psychologist because of their medical background. While practices differ, patients can expect between $300 and $500 for the initial consultation, followed by at least $100 per hour. In many cases, these rates hover closer to $200 per hour.
A psychiatrist is essentially a medical doctor qualified to treat the psychological and physical symptoms associated with various mental health conditions, including substance abuse treatment.
Psychiatrists often work with their patient’s doctors and psychologists to implement the best possible treatment. Psychiatrists can treat patients with medication — helpful for treating individuals suffering from conditions such as schizophrenia.
Receiving IV therapy is one of the reasons many seniors and adults take advantage of nursing homes such as Fairview Rehab and Nursing Home in Queens NY. IV or intravenous therapy has many applications for a range of health issues. Before you or your loved one have to take advantage of IV therapy, it is a good idea to learn what is involved.
What is intravenous therapy used for?
Many patients in nursing homes need to receive IV therapy in some form. It does not mean that IV therapy is used for senior patients only. Depending on the patients’ health issues, medical practitioners commonly use it for patients of all ages.
What IV therapy means is that patient’s medication, as well as fluids, are delivered directly into a vein. For example, a drip you might have received in a hospital for dehydration is a form of IV therapy. Veins are part of your body’s circulatory system. When introduced through veins, medication and fluids reach all your organs directly, much faster and more effectively than when they are ingested.
When is IV therapy required?
Patients receiving IV therapy in a nursing home often battle a serious medical condition. For them, IV therapy is the fast way of getting the care they need and getting back to their normal lives.
IV therapy has three main uses: for administrating patient’s medication, to provide fluids and nutrients, and for blood transfusion. The reasons for any of these uses of IV therapy are numerous. Some of the most common are:
To feed patients who have difficulty eating or drinking;
Administer high doses of antibiotics;
To treat dehydration or imbalance of electrolytes;
Replenish blood lost in an accident;
Add essential minerals and vitamins when lacking;
Treat certain cancer patients;
To provide nutrients to patients whose illness prevents them from normal absorption of nutrients.
How IV therapy works
Only a skilled nurse or other medical practitioner should perform IV therapy. A nurse inserts a catheter or a direct access tube into a vein. Most commonly it is a peripheral vein. At times the catheter is inserted into a central vein, mostly when for some reason a peripheral vein cannot be used.
To say that this has been a challenging year for healthcare providers would be a grave understatement. From the financial hardships that the state shutdowns brought, to the need to change traditional processes to create a COVID-19 safe environment, we have proven that while healthcare may be recession proof, it is not pandemic proof. Although we hope that the majority of these immediate challenges are behind us (or will be behind us once we have a widely distributed vaccine), the healthcare industry has gone through momentous changes in 2020 which will no doubt drive lasting transformation for years to come.
No matter the role healthcare providers play or their specialties, all providers have experienced some degree of change. Some of the biggest changes that we’ve experienced in 2020 — that will continue to drive trends in the coming year — include shifts toward value-based care (VBC) models, increased focus on whole-person health, and utilization of digital health tools.
Continued Emphasis on VBC and Whole-Person Care
One of the most unexpected observations that providers have had is that those with VBC financial arrangements saw better results than practices with exclusively traditional fee-for-service (FFS) models. In effect, having both VBC and FFS models provides business model diversification and protection against systemic volume declines. This isn’t something that was considered or talked about pre-pandemic.
VBC has been an accelerating force in the healthcare landscape the past few years and has made us rethink patients as consumers. We’ll continue to see practices want to differentiate themselves by moving to VBC models. Additionally, practices will shift away from the problem-focused approach and practice medicine with a much more holistic, patient-focused strategy. There will be advancement toward whole-person care models and new ways to care for patients outside of the encounter and proactively intervene.
The healthcare industry has acknowledged the impact that behavioral, social and human service needs have on an individual’s health — which is causing primary care providers to adopt new offerings around behavioral health. This starts with assessments and will grow into psychosocial support. Also expect that there will be an increased need for mental health support because of the isolation and reduced social connections to friends and family resulting from the pandemic.