What the Experts Say

Healthcare and Vaccination Access in COVID-19 Environment

Almost every state has announced as of April 19, eligibility for all adults to be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. This benchmark outpaced by nearly two weeks the target date of May 1, 2021, which was originally set by the Biden Administration. With broad eligibility established, there remains several factors in the mass vaccinations effort and winning the war against COVID-19.

A slowdown in vaccination pace, caused by a temporary pause in Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine rollout, there’s another factor in achieving higher levels of vaccination.

Vaccine hesitancy appears to be another obstacle to the high rate of vaccination needed for slowing the devastation of the pandemic. While early opinion surveys pointed to a high number of Americans who did not intend to get vaccinated, the sobering and unforgiving reality of 563,000+ deaths nationwide from COVID-19, shows an exceptionally high rate of deaths in minority communities.

Below are current death rates of minority groups within the overall population, and actions that are known to be effective.  Source: Healthcare and Vaccination Access in COVID-19 Environment.                

                 

 

 

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Health Experts at the Centers For Disease Control (CDC)

A steady stream of guidance is being released for Americans to know about the COVID-19 virus, from Centers For Disease Control. The Federal government jointly with each state’s Health Department remains the most reliable source of information, and evolving precautions as circumstances change. The CDC’s recently published guidance on what fully vaccinated people should do to remain safe and stop the spread, here:  CDC Guidance for vaccinated individuals

Virginia Department of Health on Vaccination Priorities 

Changes in the public health emergency of COVID-19 are being released as soon as they available from Virginia Department of Health.  Follow important updates from VDH on vaccination priorities, and eligibility for vaccinations in every phase. Be ready when it’s your turn with this trusted link.  VDH COVID-19 Vaccination Response – Updates

The mobile app  COVIDWISE, launched in December by Virginia Health Department, is available on Google Play and App Store. COVIDWISE gives up-to-date insight guidance and how to identify hot spots. Download the COVID-WISE app from VHD   

 

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Hospital Admissions

Understand the crucial difference between Inpatient Status and Observation Status

It matters how a hospital classifies your admission status.  Decision by admitting doctor will determine what level of support for the patient is available after discharge. Admitting status determines the level of Medicare benefits, such as who pays for your rehab or other services if required. “Observation” status is often assigned when a patient goes to emergency room and later admitted to the hospital. Medicare benefits are drastically reduced if this occurs! Step up. Ask the attending physician right away: “Is patient admitted as in-patient or observation status?” AARP urges that you know your options.  Click link for the full text of AARP report. Beware Observation Status.   Source AARP report, Feb 2018

 

The Lifelong Home

Approaching the age of 50’s and above will recall these ah-ha moments.  Cozy living environments feel less friendly, as staircase to upper level bedrooms become a journey that requires  advance thinking. And major repairs surface at the most in opportune times.

Homefit Guide by AARP is an excellent tool to asses your home through new and enlightened eyes. Take a room-by-room tour of your home and the HomeFit Quiz. While downsizing is popular topic of baby boomers, this process is not quick, nor 1-size-fits-all.  In the meantime, many simple ways to  examine minor ways to assess your living environment and keep it Home Sweet Home in AARP HomeFit Guide.

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Prevention of Falls is Everyone’s Business

Why it matters. Among older adults, falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries! Many falls  however can be prevented. The George Mason University’s Poised program points to simple steps for prevention.  What can be done can dramatically improve quality of life, and reduce emergency room visits.  According to the CDC, people who fall are often later admitted to a long-term care facility after discharge.  Link for sharable brochure.  Source GMU POISED report: Precision Outreach Intervention Surveillance and Exercise.

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Consumer Protection is Free. Grab yours.

Demand protection today from predatory student loans lenders. 

This is the era of predatory lending in the student loan industry. Predatory lending is  not a new a new story. Similar to the treacherous period of predatory mortgage lending in the early 2000’s, these practices can be tamed with consumer action and proper federal oversight.

Tasked with taming the beast in 2011, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau ultimately returned $12 billion to 29 million people who were wronged by financial institutions. Today’s target of predatory lenders is student borrowers.  But the the newly appointment head of this federal agency, has a track record that raises serious questions about conflict of interest, and outcries are gaining momentum. In particular Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts Senator whose relentless efforts to create the Bureau are credited with laying the foundation for much needed federal oversight in consumer borrowing. Warren Slams as “Outrageous” the new appointee of CFPB

Today’s student loan borrowers are poised to elevate the narrative and ensure lenders are held accountable to the highest standards in fair lending practices. While lenders would like to keep their predatory practices undercover and take advantage of the change in leadership at CFPB, a number exposes have been written to keep a spotlight on them Sarah O’Brien uncovered the pattern in here article. CFPB Under Siege since 2017.

Student Loan Borrower Alert! Victimized student loan borrowers and their families are being victimized are mobilizing. One method is to grab the resources of the protection of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB), and lodge written complaints against tactics that are designed to keep borrowers underwater in debt for a lifetime. Now is the time to gain better understanding of http://www.consumerfinance.gov and its important role. Specifically, the price of higher education will not become permanent financial jeopardy for consumers. Written complaints will keep this topic in the forefront. Your direct access is here. Complaint link to CFPB.

Advocates For Citizen Access has launched a survey to compile stories of consumers who prefer another way to elevate the narrative. To complete a brief anonymous survey, request details at info@AdvocatesCA.org.