In the News: June 30–July 7

Socioeconomic Status Linked to Alzheimer Disease

A recent New York Times article highlights the findings of a JAMA Network Open study where scientists linked those living in the poorest neighborhoods with the highest risk for Alzheimer disease.

The study included 427 people who donated their brains to research banks and linked each donated brain to the participant’s address, using a 10-point scale to rank each neighborhood by its socioeconomic disadvantage. Ninety percent of the brains had a degree of Alzheimer disease change, which is commonly found in the autopsy of people with Alzheimer disease. The study found that for each point increase on the socioeconomic disadvantage scale, there was an 8 percent increase in the risk for an Alzheimer disease brain pathology. There is acknowledgement among JAMA that the brains of people from the most disadvantaged areas were sparsely represented within the study, however, there is correlation that social factors could result in a host of human health disorders including diabetes, cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer disease.

Alzheimer disease currently affects as many as 5.7 million Americans, with annual incidence expected to more than double by 2050 as the population continues to age. Organizations must consider the looming workforce shortages and start targeting populations and developing solutions by identifying connectivity gaps along the care continuum. To learn more about the outlook of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia care, as well as successful programmatic case examples, read the Sg2 FAQ Alzheimer and Dementia Care Landscape.

Partnership for Hospital at Home Care During COVID-19

A recent Forbes article highlights how Mayo Clinic has partnered with Medically Home to launch an advanced care hospital at home model offering comprehensive and restorative health care services such as infusions, imaging and skilled nursing, among others. The program will first be launched in Jacksonville, FL, and Eau Claire, WI, in July and August.

The need and demand for such a program is even greater during the COVID-19 pandemic, as patients are looking for newer, safer ways to get more acute medical care outside of the hospital. Providing these more advanced services in patients’ homes will ensure patients are getting the right care at the right time.

Home health care will continue to evolve in response to the changing policy and payment landscape. Choosing the best home health partner or optimizing existing services requires a keen understanding of market dynamics and service offerings. To learn more about building a home health program, please read the Sg2 System of CARE Guide: Linking Home Health to Systems of CARE.

Can the US Overcome COVID-19 in the Second Half of 2020?

A recent article from NBC News highlights the US response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the concerns of physicians and public health experts as the country moves into the second half of 2020. More than 126,000 deaths have been reported in the US, and 500,000 deaths have occurred globally. Now, countries worldwide are experiencing surges in new cases, but health experts worry that Americans aren’t taking the virus seriously.

Despite the fact that COVID-19 is a respiratory disease that spreads through sneezing, coughing and talking, there has been inconsistent encouragement from the US government for people to wear masks in public to help stop the spread. Many Americans also seem to believe that after the shelter-in-place orders were loosened, it was okay to “go back to normal” and take fewer precautions. Meanwhile, uncertainty abounds as hospitals prepare for a possible second wave of COVID-19 cases, and experts worry about an influx of COVID-19 cases and flu cases simultaneously in the fall.

Some states are beginning to see rapidly rising COVID-19 case numbers, and if the current trajectory does not change, the US could see as many as 100,000 new cases per day. Health systems need to be prepared. Version 5 of the Sg2 COVID-19 Surge Demand Calculator now accounts for additional inputs for scenario modeling of a resurgence of COVID-19 based on changes to social distancing measures—access the calculator and related COVID-19 resources here.

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