Last week one of my friends emailed this Wall Street Journal Article to me. I am not sure if the link to the actual article will work – I think you need to subscribe to the WSJ in order to read it (unless its emailed to you). If you would like to read the full article, email me and I will email you the link you can use to read it.
For those of you who can read it I made the following comments on their health blog:
The most telling sentence of this entire article was "under federal rules, it’s still easier for nursing homes to get reimbursed for giving patients extra pills than it is for hiring extra staff." WOW.
Extra staff and additional staff training is going to be required to help get the patients off the meds. With a shortage of caregivers and an increase in those that will develop dementia coming and the obvious power the drug companies have – what is going to happen to the baby boomers?
The article also noted that "Medicaid in 2005 spent $5.4 billion on atypical antipsychotic medicines — more than it spent on any other class of drugs, including antibiotics, AIDS drugs or medicines to treat high blood pressure." I believe we need to spend some of that money on finding a cure for Alzheimer’s and dementia instead.
One guy commented that because of resentment toward nursing homes doctors may stop these drugs and we will see an increase in falls, hip fractures and hospitializations. While that is true – isn’t this also a QUALITY OF LIFE question? See my next post for a personal story on this very question.