Too Much Therapy, Too Few Results

Therapy can become a dead-end relationship. Research shows that, in many cases, the longer therapy lasts the less likely it is to be effective.

A recent article in The New York Times by Jonathan Alpert  a New York psychotherapist and the author of “Be Fearless: Change Your Life in 28 Days.” discusses the issues and explores the problem of it sometimes being ineffective.  “Therapy can — and should — focus on goals and outcomes, and people should be able to graduate from it. In my practice, the people who spent years in therapy before coming to me were able to face their fears, calm their anxieties and reach life goals quickly — often within weeks.”

Also see how the face of therapy is changing (see Talk Doesn’t Pay, So Psychiatry Turns Instead to Drug Therapy)

 

HOSPITAL PRICING ROULETTE


Hospital charges appear on patients’ bills, but they often bear no relation to the discounted fees that an insurer will end up paying. Still, some patients do get stuck paying the retail price. They include the uninsured, those with bare-bones or high-deductible plans, and even some fully insured people.

Even if you have health insurance, if you don’t look under the covers you may be surprised that not only does your hospital of choice not participate as an “in network provider” but that the charges for your procedure can be all over the place.

That’s what RONI CARYN RABIN reported in her recent NYT article “The Confusion of Hospital Pricing“. The subject of her article is probably not unlike most people faced with hospitalization. His was an emergency and he sought care close to home.

For his appendectomy, he was charged over $59,000 while charges in his region of the country ranged from a low of $1,500 to as high (due to extenuating circumstances of almost $183,000. It turned out that the hospital he chose did not have a contract with his insurance carrier.

We assume too much perhaps and without adequate research, fall into situations like this. With more and more responsibility being placed upon the patient to be proactive in their care, the financial burden for not doing that can be mind boggling.

Understanding the system a little better is certainly helpful, and Ms. Rabin provides some tips as to what we should do and helpful links to resources. Keeping in mind that his was an emergency, may have made advance preparation a little difficult, however how better for others to learn from someone else’s experience.

 

Surviving the ‘Sandwich’ Generation

Becoming true empty nesters may be more a dream than a reality. As baby boomers move toward what should be retirement and slowing down, responsibility for caring for school age children, aging parents or boomerang children may stifle or at least slow that process. As an early baby boomer and caregiver to seven aging relatives and two growing children, my wife and I sense defined what it is to be a member of the “Sandwich Generation”.

Balancing a stressful lifestyle and the finances that are part of that can be daunting. Growing older than previous generations along with a severe recession, it’s no doubt that older folks feel stressed about their finances. If they’re stressed, their children who may have the responsibility of making certain those funds carry their parents to the end comfortably are doubly stressed.

It’s interesting how all of a sudden, these baby boomers who thought they had covered the bases in terms of planning for their future now find those plans sidetracked.

Kiplinger recently published an article “Surviving the ‘Sandwich’ Generation”. In it they discuss some of the issues uncovered in the Sun Trust Retirement Re-Set Study conducted along with Age Wave. Key is the need to assemble a team to help. An estate planner, accountant and banker can take a lot of the angst out of the process.

Social Security to Stop Mailing Checks

According to the Social Security Administration, they will stop sending paper checks to beneficiaries by March 1, 2013. The switch to electronic payments will be for Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, Veterans Affairs, Railroad Retirement Board, and Office of Personnel Management payments. Besides saving the taxpayer $120 million in the cost of mailing, it should speed access to those monthly payments for the beneficiaries and avoid the risk of loss that occurs over a half million times annually.

Anyone applying for SSI after May 1 , 2011 will receive their payments electronically. For those who still receive their checks by mail will need to take action and make one of several elections to insure uninterrupted payments. Payments can be received either by direct deposit or funds can be credited to a debit card. As reported in a US News March 12, 2012 article (Social Security to Go Paperless in 2013) The debit card has a number of fees that the recipent should be aware of. (see US News link below) http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/planning-to-retire/2012/03/16/social-security-to-go-paperless-in-2013

http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10073.html”>

 

New Connecticut Law Requires Disclosure of Home Care Registries

AN ACT CONCERNING HOMEMAKER SERVICES AND HOMEMAKER-COMPANION AGENCIES
is a new law that will provide protection to elderly consumers and their families. The law, which goes into effect January 1, 2012, will help Connecticut families make more informed decisions when hiring a home care agency to provide care for their aging loved ones.
CT Flyer Copy

Vitamin E boosts prostate cancer risk

US researchers warned Tuesday of an alarming link between vitamin E supplements and a 17 percent increased risk of prostate cancer, describing the findings as an “important public health concern.

Vitamin E boosts prostate cancer risk

5 Surprising Signs of Breast Cancer

You’ve been told all your life to be on the alert for breast lumps, the primary sign of breast cancer. But a lump isn’t always the first sign of malignancy, or it may not be the first change a woman notices

5 Surprising Signs of Breast Cancer

My Dog Ate My Prescription

Despite vast differences among patients, major clinical guidelines assume that everyone should get the same type of care so as to ensure the best possible outcome for all. This egalitarian approach to patients is considered an ethical touchstone of modern medicine. But all patients are not created equal. Slate.com

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Knowing What’s Worth Paying for in Vitamins

Americans love vitamins. About half of adults take a daily multivitamin, according to industry data. And according to some theories, the economic downturn has inspired them to fortify themselves by swallowing more. New York Times

Knowing What’s Worth Paying for in Vitamins

White Flight From the Nursing Home

The number of older Americans living in nursing homes continues to fall, and the proportion of residents who are black, Hispanic or Asian has climbed sharply. But don’t expect cheers from the Brown University researchers who’ve tracked this major shift in long-term care. With greater scrutiny, then, this demographic trend represents a less happy reality. Just as minority seniors are pouring into nursing homes, whites are turning to more attractive choices and staying out. The New York Time July 15, 2011

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