Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: How Economies Are Effected By The Boomer Tsunami and Immigration

Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often- The Boomer Tsunami, Economies and Immigration – History shows us that in tough economies struggling “natives” often turn immigrants into villains. As I’ve blogged before, this country cannot survive the coming age wave without immigration.

Now, before I start get started, let me start off by stating that we MUST tighten our security measures and admission standards. Illegal entry into our country cannot be rewarded. If you are working in this country you must be a contributing member (meaning you’re paying your fair share of taxes AND you have committed no crimes). In addition to the financial ramifications of illegal aliens, we now have to worry about the security issues.

Now that being said, we face some serious challenges in the near future. By 2010, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that our economy will support 168 million jobs, but the workforce will be only 158 million to fill those jobs. Therefore, a shortfall of 10 million is predicted (Herman, R. E., T. G. Olivo, and J. L. Gioia. 2003. Impending crisis. Winchester, VA: Oakhill Press.).

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. birthrate has fallen to about a breakeven level (from 3.3 births per couple in 1960 to 2.2 in 2000), while at the same time the dependency level of our growing population of aging citizens is increasing. By dependency, I mean that as we age we require more services: health care, maintenance, etc). In other words, who will mow my lawn or take care of me when I have Alzheimer’s?

“The soaring number of elderly people will affect the dependency ratio, which describes the impact of a nonworking population on a working population. In the United States, where there will be 246 elderly people for every 1,000 workers in 2010, there are projected to be 411 elderly per 1,000 workers in 2030.”

-D’Vera Cohn, The Divergent Paths of Baby Boomers and Immigrants

What makes the issue even more serious is that so many of us are choosing to retire at 62 (60%) rather than 65, robbing our economy of valuable workers and experience. In fact, in my humble opinion, we would be less dependent on immigration if our economy was better equipped to allow us to work well into our late 70s/early 80s . . . which would require some restructuring of social security and tax laws (in other words, don’t punish people for working).

In this video, Economist Robert Shapiro projects how economies around the world may respond to the aging of the Baby Boom generation.



Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: Nursing shortage partially due to lack of teachers

j0438630 mature market experts nursing

Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often – Nursing shortage partially due to lack of teachers – “An estimated 116,000 registered nurse positions are unfilled at U.S. hospitals and nearly 100,000 jobs go vacant in nursing homes, experts said.

The shortage is expected to worsen in coming years as the 78 million people in the post-World War Two baby boom generation begin to hit retirement age. An aging population requires more care for chronic illnesses and at nursing homes. “The nursing shortage is not driven by a lack of interest in nursing careers. The bottleneck is at the schools of nursing because there’s not a large enough pool of faculty,” Robert Rosseter of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing said in a telephone interview.

Nursing colleges have been unable to expand enrollment levels to meet the rising demand, and some U.S. lawmakers blame years of weak federal financial help for the schools. Almost 50,000 qualified applicants to professional nursing programs were turned away in 2008, including nearly 6,000 people seeking to earn masters and doctoral degrees, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing said. Pay differences One reason for the faculty squeeze is that a nurse with a graduate degree needed to teach can earn more as a practicing nurse, about $82,000, than teaching, about $68,000.”

Source: MSNBC

Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: Electronic Tracking and Care Coordination Tools Save Lives

Electronic tracking combined with patient centered-care management can reduce hospitalizations and deaths.

Electronic tracking combined with patient centered-care management can reduce hospitalizations and deaths.

Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often – Electronic Tracking and Care Coordination Tools Save Lives – As I have often posted before, I think technology is key to bridging the shortage of healthcare workers needed to care for the world’s booming senior population. Recent research is beginning to show the difference it can make. According to an article by Saher Selod of Mather Lifeways’ Aging In Action, “Researchers at the Oregon Health & Science University conducted an evaluation of the Care Management Plus (CMP) program. The results of the study indicate that the CMP program, an intervention tool that combines electronic tracking with patient centered-care management, reduced the number of deaths and hospitalizations for older adults suffering from several chronic illnesses.

The study was conducted in Seven Intermountain clinics where 1,144 patients received the CMP and 2,288 patients, in the control group, did not. According to the results, 6.5% of the CMP patients died in the first year compared to 9.2% from the control group. In the second year, 13.1% of CMP patients died in the second year compared to 16.6% in the control group. The difference in hospitalization rates was not as high as the death rates, except for those patients who suffered from diabetes.The researchers argued that this computerized care management system worked in conjunction with extra training for nurses to improve the health care outcomes for older adults.

CMP uses data regarding the patients’ condition that is logged into a care management tracking database. This tool is then used by the care plan teams of chronically ill older adults to access patient information quickly and address patient medical needs efficiently.

This new system would require the restructuring of primary care for those who are chronically ill. Researchers from the study recommend this restructuring in order to improve the quality of care for chronically ill patients in the long term.”

Additional source: Door, David, Wilcox, A., Brunker, C., Burdon, R. Donnelly, S. 2008. The effect of technology-supported multi-disease care management on the mortality of hospitalization of seniors. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 56(12): 2203-2210.

I also recommend reading The John A Hartford Foundation’s annual report.

Mature Market Experts Gem of The Day: Hearing Aids Get Stylish For Baby Boomers

The new Lyric hearing aid is a good example of how far hear aid design has come.

The new Lyric hearing aid is a good example of how far hearing aid design has come.

Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often – Hearing Aids Get Stylish For Baby Boomers – This past October I lost most of my hearing in my right ear to a relatively rare condition called Sudden Sensory Neurological Hearing Loss, so I suddenly find myself in the market for a hearing aid. Fortunately, hearing aids have become much more stylish. Once again, boomers are on the forefront of pushing for improvements . . . and it makes sense . . . 16 percent, one in six, of the 78 million boomers have some loss of hearing.

One company that certainly seems to have their product design approaching something more tolerable to the bulk of us is Lyric. The Lyric hearing aid is placed deep in the ear canal, so it is 100% invisible to other people. And the Lyric can be worn while you sweat or get wet – which is perfect for boomers who want to stay active.

I’ll be doing my research on the various hearing aid options and I’ll get back to you. In the meantime, Lyric listen up (pun intended), TR Mann Consulting can help you market your wonderfully designed product.

PS    I would be remiss if I didn’t mention two wonderful organizations that have been extremely helpful to me during this ordeal: Johns Hopkins Department of Otolaryngology, in particular, Dr. John Carey and the Hearing Loss Association of America.

Mature Market Experts Gem of The Day: $20B For Healthcare Information Technology

j0438865 mature market electronic medical records

Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often – $20B For Healthcare Information Technology – All politics are local, so the saying goes. So, it is worth noting that the amount of money being allocated in the new recovery and reinvestment law will affect all of us in some way on a local level—either for the good or the bad. Of particular interest to me is the roughly $20B allocation associated with healthcare information technology. As healthcare and its peripheral topics are of interest to me by education, training and profession, this particular expenditure carries with it both hope and caution. The expenditure carries hope from the perspective that the promise of universal electronic medical records can ultimately improve the quality of care for us all. The caution is that the devil is in the details and there is the possibility—and likelihood—that the challenges associated with implementing and administering such a technological advancement will not be resolved for many years to come.

Returning to the “politics are local” theme for a moment, the challenges with universal health records (note: NOT universal health care…I’ll leave that political debate alone for the time being) are in their implementation and acceptance across the U.S. It is not sufficient to simply supply each primary care provider with a laptop computer…there is the issue of the medical record software itself. Both Microsoft and Google have made large investments in personalized health records (I have one myself). But access to these data, the adoption of the medium across the country, identification of the patient, securing and protecting the information from unauthorized review, and many other challenges are before us.

These challenges will not be resolved by merely spending ~$20B on healthcare information technology initiatives. To address these challenges requires a unified effort across multiple fronts, including breaching technological and sociological boundaries. The basic tenets of restricted and assured access as well as accuracy of the data are so significant and are of such dire import that their mentioning cannot be overemphasized. From an academic perspective one might conclude that “of course” these items and more must be guaranteed. However, we in the U.S. have at present no common standard for enabling and ensuring these two most basic of operational items in this day and age. Certainly the technologies exist to meet the demands of these key requirements. But, their seamless, universal application is presently not available nor enforceable throughout the continuum of care nationwide. This is so for many reasons. Key among these reasons is the lack of enforced standardization for interoperability among the many, many standalone healthcare information technology systems. Many lone islands are available which cannot communicate among one another. The investment required to achieve this feat is in no way trivial. Furthermore, common standards for storing this information so that it may be retrieved at a hospital, say, in Orlando, Florida while I am away on business, have yet to be put into place.

So, how do we proceed? Well, in order to achieve the vision, all hospitals that acquire new or upgrade existing healthcare information technology systems (inclusive of electronic enterprise health records) should mandate that these systems interoperate with each other so that orders, medications, patient vital signs, laboratory results, imagery, and other information can be shared seamlessly among the many disparate systems that can coexist within a healthcare enterprise. This implies that such systems must support common data and information communication frameworks such as those proffered by Health Level 7 (HL7), DICOM, and others. Furthermore, such systems must provide the capability to support role-based user access to all stored information so that patient data will only be revealed to individuals with a need to know. Special care must be given to any information such as patient data for numerous reasons including safety and privacy. Additionally, repositories of patient information must be made available to clinicians anywhere at any time. Access must be reliable, assured, the data must be accurate and beyond question in terms of its integrity.

The aforementioned requirements are only a subset of those needed to support a truly universal form of electronic health record throughout the many thousands of enterprises worldwide. I have not made mention of the standards of care and how these can vary worldwide. Even if such a universal medium for storing and accessing patient information were confined to the United States alone this is a nontrivial challenge. However, I believe it is necessary to overcome given the even greater challenge of improving the quality of healthcare and reducing its ponderous costs in the years to come.

Note: more blog entries on electronic medical records can be found here.

Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: The Changing Role of Men As Caregivers

Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often – The Changing Role of Men As Caregivers -“The Alzheimer’s Association and the National Alliance for Caregiving estimate that men make up nearly 40 percent of family care providers now, up from 19 percent in a 1996 study by the Alzheimer’s Association. About 17 million men are caring for an adult. ”

Source: NY Times

Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: What’s Your Life Expectancy?

j0438815 mature market experts life expectancy

Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often – What’s Your Life Expectancy? – This fun/interesting rollover map from MSNBC provides an interactive map of the USA that shows your life expectancy on a state by state basis. What’s your life expectancy? It also has a really neat “National timeline” that shows major health milestones/events that changed history.

Which reminds me, if you haven’t had a chance yet, please review Tom Peters amazing PowerPoint on the state of American healthcare. It took him ten years to create and has some amazing stats and figures. While I don’t agree with everything Tom says, it will definately give you some stuff to think about this weekend. I hope you have a great two days off!