Elder Abuse Awareness Day is June 15
June 15 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. The U.S. Administration on Aging estimates that as many as 1 in 10 older Americans are abused or neglected each year.
Elder abuse can be physical, emotional, financial and sexual. It also includes people who are neglected and those who neglect themselves. Elders who are abused are twice as likely to be hospitalized, four times as likely to go into nursing homes and three times as likely to die. While most abusers are family members, trusted professionals and complete strangers may also target older adults.
More information on how to prevent elder abuse can be found by visiting the National Center on Elder Abuse's website at https://ncea.acl.gov. The Minnesota Adult Abuse Reporting Center provides a toll-free number, 844-880-1574, to report suspected maltreatment of vulnerable adults.The Aging and Disability Resource Center of Pierce County, Wis., can be contacted for information or to make an elder abuse report at 715-273- 6780.
Minnesota patients spend millions for low-value medical tests and diagnostic imaging
The Minnesota Department of Health looked at 18 low-value medical tests and found Minnesota spent $54.9 million on them in 2014, even though they're known to provide little benefit to patients. Minnesota patients alone spent $9.3 million out-of-pocket for these services.
More than 450 types of low-value health care services have been identified nationally by consumer groups and medical societies, such as the American Board of Internal Medicine. These services and procedures provide little benefit to patients, and can potentially cause harm, due to radiation exposure for example. MDH, with assistance from researchers at Mayo Clinic, identified a subset of 18 of these low-value tests and imaging procedures to study in Minnesota.
"This research identifies a significant area of wasted resources and unnecessary exposure to potential patient harm," said Health Commissioner Dr. Ed Ehlinger. "Providers and patients need to join together to avoid these tests that add needless expense to our overly expensive health care system."
The research relied on the Minnesota All Payer Claims Database, a state repository of health care transactions derived from the billing records of medical providers. The analysis of health care claims found that in 2014 there were about 92,000 encounters associated with low-value diagnostic imaging and 83,000 encounters with low-value disease screening and testing. Diagnostic imaging for uncomplicated headaches was the most common and most costly low-value service observed, accounting for 40 percent of overall low-value cost.
The issue brief can be accessed online at the MDH Health Economics Program website at goo.gl/fTvxpL.
Red Cross calls for new blood donors
The American Red Cross is urging those who have never given blood before or have not given recently to make an appointment to give blood or platelets now and help sustain a sufficient community blood supply this summer. While the need for blood is constant during the summer months, the Red Cross experiences a drastic decline in new donors.
"Every day, we have thousands of lives to help save, but blood and platelet donations often do not keep pace with hospital demand during the summer months," said Sue Thesenga, communications manager for the North Central Blood Services Region. "In less time than it can take to go out to eat, you can make a lifesaving difference for cancer patients, accident victims and others in need."
Appointments can be scheduled by downloading the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting www.redcrossblood.org or calling 800-RED CROSS. Upcoming Wisconsin donation opportunities include:
• Maiden Rock Village Office — 12:30 to 5:30 p.m., June 12
• St. Croix County Services Center, New Richmond — 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., June 13
• River Falls Municipal Utilities — 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., June 14
• Property Executives Realty, Somerset — 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., June 14
• American Legion Butler-Harmon Post 80, New Richmond — noon to 6 p.m., June 14
• Hudson Walgreens, 141 Carmichael Road — noon to 6 p.m., June 15
Free seminar focuses on total knee replacement
Dr. Nicholas Weiss with Twin Cities Orthopedics will present a class on total knee arthroplasty 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 21, at Westfields Hospital & Clinic in New Richmond. The seminar will cover what people can expect from the procedure, including recovery time and rehabilitation.
Weiss is a graduate of the Medical College of Wisconsin. He completed his orthopedic surgery residency at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester and a fellowship in sports medicine and arthroscopy at the University of Wisconsin Medical School.
The class is free but advance registration is required. To register, call 800-429-0383 or visit www.healthpartnerslocalcare.org.
Remove standing water to tell mosquitoes to buzz off
Home and property owners are contributing to the mosquito population unless they take steps to eliminate standing water, according to Pierce County Health Department. Mosquitoes can lay eggs in leaves and standing water. The health department offers the following tips:
• Dispose of cans, pots or similar water-holding containers.
• Remove discarded tires — used tires are a significant mosquito breeding site.
• Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers kept outside.
• Turn over plastic wading pools and wheelbarrows when not in use.
• Change water in birdbaths at least weekly.
• Clean vegetation and debris from edges of ponds.
• Clean pools, saunas and hot tubs, and drain water from pool covers.
• Use landscaping to eliminate standing water on property.
Some mosquitoes carry diseases such as West Nile Virus and La Crosse Encephalitis. Residents are urged to use mosquito repellent outside and wear long-sleeved shirts and pants to avoid bites.