Dr. Fitbit: New Developments in Wearables and Healthcare
For years the healthcare field has been trying to harness the power of today’s wearables (Fitbits, Apple watches...you know the drill) to improve your healthcare. Now there may be a new way. Fitbit has recently created a position called President of Digital Health and hired from the C-suite of a popular drugstore and pharmacy chain to fill it.
Rural Hospital Closures, Explained
American rural hospitals are in trouble, and a new study reveals why. The answer? “It’s complicated.” The Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured focused on three recently closed rural hospitals in South Carolina, Kentucky and Kansas. They came up with “a broad range” of reasons for closure, including (but not at all limited to): Corporate decisions on profitability Lack of community expertise in dealing with large health-care organizations Changes in federal reimbursement policies Some states’ decisions not to expand Medicaid Rural hospital closures are part of a broader pattern of poor healthcare in rural areas. Many rural counties have only one hospital, and its closure can have lasting impacts. Ambulances, for instance, may have to travel all the way to the next county over in an emergency. If you’re having a heart attack, that could be the difference between life and death.
What Game of Thrones Dragons and Mandates Have in Common
Your healthcare costs are skyrocketing.We’ve talked to a whole lot of North Carolinians and done a whole lot of research; we know that it’s bad out there. Many people blame the Affordable Care Act (you know it as the ACA, or Obamacare) for these increases, but we’re here to tell you about what we can do about the problem on a state level. It’s simple: convince the legislature to stop passing detrimental laws called health benefit mandates. You many have heard of the ACA’s individual mandate (the rule that everyone has to have health insurance). State mandates aren’t the same thing. They’re just laws that make health insurance companies pay for something. And when insurance companies have to pay, we all have to pay.
Healthier Food Banks, Healthier People
North Carolina food banks are making some changes. A network of organizations across the state that collectively serve about 100,000 meals a week has decided to try to serve more nutritious foods. Right now, the most cost-effective way for members of the North Carolina Association of Feeding America Foodbanks to help people is with mostly pre-packaged products: canned veggies, processed meals, and staples like peanut butter and cheese. But in a new state-funded initiative, they’re going to work with farmers across to the state to try to augment those meals with fresh produce. North Carolina has a shocking number of hungry citizens. The article explains that in our state, “one in six adults and one in five children under the age of 18 has inadequate access to food.” That’s unacceptable.
Adult Protective Services Wants You to Raise Your Voice
Do you know someone who has been taken care of by North Carolina Adult Protective Services, or needs to be? Then now’s the time to act. They’re holding listening sessions in the next few months, and they want to hear about YOUR experiences and how they could improve their services for some of our most vulnerable citizens: older folks and those with disabilities who are undergoing abuse or caretaker neglect, or who simply can’t take care of themselves anymore.
Pets Improve Your Health. Science Says So!
Pets are good for you. It’s just a fact. The country’s go-to health experts (the doctors at the CDC) even say so. But for the skeptics among us (or the curious, or those who love looking at cute animal pictures) we’re here to present proof that your favorite furry friend may be giving you a longer life.