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Improving Senior Health Care

On May 11, 2009, Colorado Senator Michael Bennett introduced a new health care bill aimed to improve patient care and save money on health care costs. This new bill, the Medicare Transitions Act of 2009, is designed to improve patient care by ensuring that Medicare patients receive timely and effective follow-up care after they check-out of the hospital.

The Medicare Transitions Act of 2009 bill aims to provide a nationwide network of local transitional care coaches that would help Medicare patients recover and self-manage their condition. Personal follow-up care would be offered in order to ensure that elderly patients were effectively self-managing their condition and properly administering medications.

The bill would reduce costs by dramatically lowering patient readmission rates. Too many seniors are being readmitted into hospitals everyday even though it could have been prevented. For every five Medicare patients who are released from the hospital, one is readmitted within 1 month. This statistic can be prevented with proper follow-up treatment. Personal follow-up care would assess each patient’s condition and provide necessary treatment or further instructions for self-care.

The cost of Medicare and Medicaid are two of the biggest deficits facing the nation today. Cutting costs on Medicare and Medicaid and improving senior care are exceedingly important in times of economic recession. Health care reform is essential to protect our elderly and secure our future.

President Obama recently announced the introduced of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), http://www.globalaging.org/health/us/2009/improve.htm a stimulus package designed to make health care affordable to all Americans. The ARRA allows $ 2 billion to be invested into community care centers, increase the quality of care provided to our elderly, and jumpstart our economy, among other things. These health centers will provide quality care for those who are in need, even for people who don’t have insurance.

Unfortunately, many seniors cannot afford quality health care, and because of that our nation is suffering. Taking care of the elderly by offering quality, affordable health care coverage can positively impact society in many ways. Not only can it help promote longevity, but it can also help lower America’s large deficit.

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