EMBRACING LIFE TO ITS FULLEST - LEGACY RESERVE

Patrons of Legacy Reserve at Fritz Farm can hardly wait to move into their new homes this month. Some of them signed up over a year ago.  “I chose Legacy Reserve as my future home for many reasons,” said Don Bayer, a retired Chicago Public Schools principal. “I was fascinated by the fact that it is going to have a heated saltwater swimming pool. I love to swim.”   “We decided we wanted to live here the rest of our lives,” said Loretta Jones, another resident looking forward to moving in. “So we are downsizing and we’re ready to go.”

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LIVING FRUGALLY

Many people in the United States with significant savings fear going broke in retirement, according to a recent survey. However, there are ways to live frugally to try to prevent that from happening.

1. Analyze your living situation. According to research, the cost of a home and home-related expenses accounts for nearly 43 percent of spending for people who are 65 to 74 years of age. ....

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TECHNOLOGY PRIMER FOR GRANDPARENTS

No one needs to be told the younger generations are attached to their technology. It used to just be computers, but now it’s smart phones. These days, if you want to stay in contact with your grandchildren – and sometimes even your children – you’d be wise to learn a few basic methods of keeping in touch in the digital age. A study released in 2012 by Microsoft and AARP called “Connecting Generations” found teens and their parents and grandparents are communicating more because of social media and other online tools.

….FULL ARTICLE

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Although most infusion drugs are covered under Medicare Part D, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has decided it does not have the authority to cover these infusion-related services, equipment and supplies costs under Part D. This leads to many Medicare beneficiaries being denied access to home infusion therapy. They then must receive treatment in hospitals at a significantly higher costs to Medicare. There is some coverage under Medicare Part B for certain therapies administered using durable medical equipment, such as a mechanical or electronic external infusion pump.

Infusion therapy involves administering medications intravenously by needle or catheter rather than orally. It is used when a patient’s condition is so severe that oral medications are not effective. Injections can also be delivered into muscles or epidural routes – the membranes surrounding the spinal cord. The medications can be antibiotics, antifungals, antivirals, chemotherapy, hydration, pain management and parenteral nutrition. Additionally, blood factors, corticosteroids, inotropic heart medications, growth hormones, immunoglobulin and other types of biologics can be given through infusion therapy.


Infusion therapy is often used for infections that are unresponsive to oral antibiotics, as well as for cancer and cancer-related pain. Patients with chronic pain, gastrointestinal diseases, congestive heart failure, Crohn’s disease, hemophilia, immune deficiencies, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and other ailments also benefit from infusion therapy. The most common type of infusion therapy is IV antibiotics for cellulitis, sepsis, osteomyelitis, urinary tract infections, pneumonia and sinusitis.


Infusion therapy is generally done in the patient’s own home, reducing healthcare costs. This also allows for minimal disruption of the patient’s day-to-day life. Infusion therapy can also be delivered at outpatient infusion sites. Both at-home and outpatient infusion sites are

INFUSION THERAPY ADMINISTERED WHEN ORAL MEDS ARE INEFFECTIVE

called alternate-site infusion therapy because they are alternatives to an inpatient hospital delivery setting. Currently, alternate-site infusion therapy is estimated to cost about $9 billion to $11 billion a year in U.S. health care expenditures. More than 1,500 infusion pharmacy locations offer infusion therapy, according to the National Home Infusion Association (www.nhia.org).


Nearly all commercial health plans consider home infusion therapy to be a medical service reimbursable under the insurance policy’s medical benefit, as opposed to a prescription drug benefit that is paid for using a per diem for clinical services, supplies and equipment with separate payments for the drugs and their delivery. Government health plans such as Medicaid, TRICARE and the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program also reimburse for home infusion therapy; however, in a few states, Medicaid has some gaps in the extent of coverage. Medicare’s fee-for-service program – Parts A, B and D – is the only major health plan in the country that has not recognized home infusion therapy has a benefit. Therefore, most Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in the fee-for-service program cannot afford to receive infusion therapy at home because of the professional services, specialized equipment and supplies that are required for home infusion therapy.

ANGELA S. HOOVER

Angela S. Hoover is a Staff Writer for Living Well 60+ Magazine

more articles by Angela S. Hoover