If Web addresses do not show as links,
Get your own no cost subscription at
If you are planning to change your email address
To ensure delivery to your inbox (not bulk or junk folders),
A1. HOSPITAL QUALITY OVERVIEW
When it's time for us to seek hospital care, we generally seek the closest facility. In many cases this may not be the best location to get the specific services we need or want. For those with Medicare or Medicaid, the government has a website devoted to comparing hospitals. http://www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov/
The Hospital Compare website was created through the efforts of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), along with the Hospital Quality Alliance (HQA). The HQA is a public-private collaboration established to promote reporting on hospital quality of care. The HQA consists of organizations that represent consumers, hospitals, doctors and nurses, employers, accrediting organizations, and federal agencies. The information on this website can be used by any patients needing hospital care.
Hospital Compare displays rates for Process of Care measures that show whether or not hospitals provide some of the care that is recommended for patients being treated for a heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, asthma (children only), or patients having surgery. Hospitals voluntarily submit data from medical records about the treatments their patients receive for these conditions. The data include patients with Medicare, those enrolled in Medicare health plans, and those who don't have Medicare.
This website also displays information on Hospital Outcome of Care Measures. The Hospital Outcome of Care Measures includes the 30-day Risk Adjusted Death (Mortality) and Readmission Rates for patients with Medicare who were admitted to the hospital for heart attack, heart failure, and pneumonia. The 30-day period is used because this is the time period when deaths are most likely to be related to the care patients received in the hospital.
CMS compiles this information from claims and enrollment data for patients in Original (fee-for-service) Medicare. It does not include people in Medicare Advantage plans or people who do not have Medicare.
Hospital Compare displays the Survey of Patients' Hospital Experiences, using data collected from the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) Survey. The intent of the HCAHPS initiative is to provide a standardized survey instrument and data collection methodology for measuring patients' perspectives on hospital care.
This website also displays Medicare inpatient hospital payment information and the number of Medicare patients treated (volume) for certain illnesses or diagnoses. Medicare Severity-Diagnosis Related Groups (MS-DRG) Hospital Compare shows information for each hospital on selected MS-DRGs from October 2007 through September 2008.
This information helps you, your health care provider, family and friends compare the quality of care provided in the hospitals that agree to submit data on the quality of certain services they provide for certain conditions. This quality information not only helps you make good decisions about your health care, but also encourages hospitals to improve the quality of health care they provide.
Quality information is not available on this website for psychiatric, rehabilitation or long-term care hospitals, because they generally do not treat patients for heart attack, heart failure or pneumonia, or perform surgeries.
To help you make good health care decisions, refer to How To Use This Information.
For more information on Health, see http://www.seniorresource.com/health.htm
A2. NEW TECHNOLOGY CHALLENGES
A good laugh, even if you're NOT over 50!
When I bought my BlackBerry I thought about the 30-year business I ran with 1800 employees, all without a cell phone that plays music, takes videos, pictures and communicates with Facebook and Twitter. I signed up under duress for Twitter and Facebook, so that my seven kids, their spouses, 13 grandkids and 2 great grandkids could communicate with me in the modern way. I figured I could handle something as simple as Twitter with only 140 characters of space.
That was before one of my grandkids hooked me up for Tweeter, Tweetree, Twhirl, Twitterfon, Tweetie and Twittererific, Tweetdeck, Twitpix and something that sends every message to my cell phone and every other program within the texting world. My phone was beeping every three minutes with the details of everything except the bowel movements of the entire next generation. I am not ready to live like this. I keep my cell phone in the garage in my golf bag.
The kids bought me a GPS for my last birthday because they say I get lost every now and then going over to the grocery store or library. I keep that in a box under my tool bench with the Bluetooth (it's red) phone I am supposed to use when I drive. I wore it once and was standing in line at Barnes & Noble, talking to my wife, and everyone in the nearest 50 yards was glaring at me. I had to take my hearing aid out to use it, and I guess I got a little loud.
I mean, the GPS looked pretty smart on my dashboard, but the lady inside that gadget was the most annoying, rudest person I had run into in a long time. Every ten minutes, she would sarcastically say, "Re-cal-cu-lating." You would think that she could be nicer. It was like she could barely tolerate me. She would let go with a deep sigh and then tell me to make a U-turn at the next light. Then if I made a right turn instead... well, it was not a good relationship.
When I get really lost now, I call my wife and tell her the name of the cross streets and while she is starting to develop the same tone as Gypsy, the GPS lady, at least she loves me.
To be perfectly frank, I am still trying to learn how to use the cordless phones in our house. We have had them for four years, but I still haven't figured out how I can lose three phones all at once and have run around digging under chair cushions and checking bathrooms and the dirty-laundry baskets when the phone rings.
The world is just getting too complex for me. They even mess me up every time I go to the grocery store. You would think they could settle on something themselves but this sudden "paper or plastic?" every time I check out just knocks me for a loop. I bought some of those cloth reusable bags to avoid looking confused, but I never remember to take them in with me.
Now I toss it back to them. When they ask me, "paper or plastic?" I just say, "Doesn't matter to me. I am bi-sacksual." Then it's their turn to stare at me with a blank look.
P.S.: I was recently asked if I Tweet. I answered, "No, but I do toot a lot."
To continue in a light mood visit http://www.seniorresource.com/jokes.htm
B. DID YOU KNOW...?
1. Keeping Appliances Safe?
Find additional tips here: http://www.seniorresource.com/seniorfiresafety.htm2. Free Entrance Days in the National Parks
America's Best Idea--the national parks--gets even better with several fee-free days at more than 100 national parks that usually charge entrance fees. The fee waiver includes: entrance fees, commercial tour fees, and transportation entrance fees. Other fees such as reservations, camping, tours, concession and fees collected by third parties are not included unless stated otherwise.
The 2011 fee-free days are as follows:
Making the fun even more affordable, many national park concessioners are joining the National Park Service in welcoming visitors with their own special offers. Here's a tip--many of the 394 national parks NEVER charge an entrance fee!
C. THOUGHTS FOR THE MONTH
We present here some words from those with a birthday this month.
More "Thoughts" at: http://www.seniorresource.com/thought.htm
return to top
D. SPECIAL SURFING SITES
1. How to Develop a Creative Lifestyle Using Mental Imagery to Guide You.
You can learn more about this new creativity by visiting www.DrMarvinBerenson.com and downloading a completely FREE ebook, "The Power of Mental Imagery." There is absolutely no obligation, nothing to buy, and no sign-up to download this ebook. It can be downloaded with a simple click.
Learn more at about the aging process at: http://www.seniorresource.com/ageproc.htm
2. Best Independent Living Aids of 2010
Visit our Senior Bazaar for other items of interest to Seniors. http://www.seniorresource.com/SRBaz.htm
return to top
E. OH MY AGING FUNNY BONE1. Things we Eventually Learn
2. One-Day Wonder
"Oh My Aging Funny Bone" is at: http://www.seniorresource.com/jokes.htm
SPONSOR AN ISSUE
This issue has been edited by Betsy Day (Betsyjday@aol.com).
Aging in Place