Beats this week:
1) Did you know that today is Senior Health and Fitness Day? It most certainly is! The last Wednesday in May is reserved for promoting the need to help older Americans stay healthy and fit. This year, around 100,000 older adults will participate in activities at more than 1,000 locations throughout the U.S. for the 17th Annual Senior Health and Fitness Day.
2) A report released recently from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that only one in five children in America live within half a mile from a park. The report also reveals other alarming statistics, such as the fact that less than one in five U.S. high school students get at least an hour of physical activity a day.
3) The National Health Center for Statistics handed down some good news this week: for the second year in a row, premature birth rates have dropped. This decrease held true for all age groups and races, except for women over 40. Despite these overall decreases, large disparities still exist for minority populations.
4) The Illinois House passed an emergency budget yesterday for the state of Illinois. The budget relies mainly on the following: borrowing and currently undefined spending cuts (to be defined by Governor Quinn). It is still unclear how the state plans to pay backlogged bills. Not found in the budget are new ways to increase revenue. Stay tuned as the Springfield drama continues to unfold!
5) A recent article published in Health Affairs outlines the differences of income for a cardiologist and a primary care physician over a lifetime. The results are staggering: ‘Their calculations showed that cardiologists earn a career average of more than $5 million, compared with $2.5 million for primary care physicians.’ Perhaps this is why we have a shortage of primary care doctors?
Bonus Beat! This week we have a bonus beat!
A study conducted by the RAND Corp. found that pay for performance programs may actually have the potential to worsen health disparities. Essentially, the study claims that if physicians are paid for the medical performance of their patients then they might actually avoid providing care in areas that could potentially experience lower health status outcomes.