Blogs: News & Views

Crisis in Health Care

Published Online: Friday, June 21, 2013
Now that Obamacare is in full swing, so is President Obama as he travels across the country in an effort to convince younger Americans to sign up for the health care options coming this fall. That's the deadline for the next phase of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and probably one of the most telling milestones of this flawed legislation. If the younger generations don't fill the rosters of the health exchanges and new insurance plans, there will simply not be enough "healthy" patients to balance out the "unhealthy" ones.

A new report by the United Health Foundation, which analyzed senior health state by state, underscores a very serious problem that only makes this situation even worse. As USA Today reports, an aging population is living longer but with growing rates of obesity, diabetes, and other chronic diseases. Based purely on the numbers, we can expect a crisis in health care—worse than imaged. Today, 1 in 8 Americans are 65 years and older. That number will change to 1 in 5 Americans by the year 2030.

The United Health Foundation's annual survey, called America's Health Rankings Senior Report, focuses on 34 measures of senior health which fall into 2 categories—determinants and outcomes. Determinants represent those actions that can affect the future health of the population, whereas outcomes represent what has already occurred either through death or disease. According to the study, for a state to improve the health of its older adult population, efforts must focus on changing the determinants of health.

Simply put, crunching the numbers in each state points out the dangers we are facing as a nation, both in terms of the economy and the way health care is delivered in this country. Each state has its challenges, but with the federal government stepping in with the ACA these challenges become even greater. For example, the rate of the uninsured population has increased 15% from 13.9% 10 years ago to 16% in 2012. That can only mean more number crunching ahead.

So who can take action? These health information studies point out the numbers, but what actions should be taken by elected officials, medical professionals, public health professionals, employers, educations, and communities to improve the health of the population of the United States? Clearly, that is something that needs to be addressed.

I encourage each individual to look at this current health crisis and their own role in society—whether it be employer or employee, health care professional, or elected official—and to take responsibility in their own community and, at the very least, become familiar with the regional issues as well as the multigenerational ones. If we let this crisis fester, the price we pay down the road will be unimaginable.

Thank you for reading!

Mike Hennessy
Chairman/Chief Executive Officer 

 
About
Mike Hennessy, Chairman and CEO
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Mike Hennessy shares his views and perspectives on issues that affect pharmacists.
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ABOUT MIKE HENNESSY, President, Chairman, CEO

Mike Hennessy is President, Chairman, and CEO of MJH & Associates and Intellisphere, LLC, publisher of influential journals in health care, finance, and politics, including Pharmacy Times. Pharmacy Times is a clinically based, monthly journal providing practical information pharmacists can use in their everyday practice. Each issue contains articles and features covering medication errors, drug interactions, patient education, pharmacy technology, disease state management watches, patient counseling, product news, pharmacy law, and specialty pharmacy. Pharmacy Times is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) as a provider of free continuing pharmacy education.

As a businessman, entrepreneur, and publisher of magazines, iPad editions, projects, and Web sites that focus on the needs of health care professionals, Hennessy is intimately familiar with the challenges these professionals face every day in today's competitive practice environment. News & Views: Hennessy's Highlights dissects health care policy issues, the impact of pharmacy on national health care, and the critical issues that concern pharmacists as the new health care reform legislation is debated.

As publisher of Pharmacy Times, Mr. Hennessy launched the Next-Generation Pharmacist Awards in partnership with Parata Systems, to recognize the achievements of pharmacists in health care. "As the leader in pharmacy publishing, Pharmacy Times is shining a light on the critical role of the pharmacist in today's health care world and providing invaluable insight into the profession," Mike Hennessy, chairman, chief executive officer, and president said. "We are proud to recognize individual pharmacists in this 2nd annual awards program."

Pharmacy Times is published by Intellisphere, LLC, a leading provider of health care publishing, research, information, and education. Operating within both traditional and digital media channels, Intellisphere serves the needs of health care professionals through an extensive suite of magazines, journals, e-mail databases, Web sites, events and personal meetings. Intellisphere reaches more than half a million health care professionals through Pharmacy Times, Specialty Pharmacy Times, The American Journal of Managed Care, The American Journal of Pharmacy Benefits, MDNG, HCPlive.com, Oncology & Biotech News, Oncology Net Guide, Contemporary Oncology, and Oncology Net Guide: Nurses' Edition.
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