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Leadership Academy 3 Gray Matters Free Senior Info Guide 4 Fraud and Fitness 4 Volunteer Opportunities 6 A quarterly publication of Area 1 Agency on Aging said. “You need to expect to pay a deductible or co-payments if your doctor needs to do further tests or procedures to treat a problem found during a preventive screening.” The USPSTF recommends three screening options for colorectal cancer beginning at age 50 and continuing to age 75: an annual high sensitivity fecal occult blood testing (FOBT); sigmoidoscopy every  continued on next page $250K Women 0 Reduced Work Labor Force Exit Hours LOST WAGES $144,609 $131,351 $37,923 $50K $64,433 $100K $89,107 $150K Reduced Work Labor Force Exit Hours $164,857 Men $185,049 $200K Reduced Work Hours LOST SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS $233,716 CAREGIVING COSTS TO WORKING CAREGIVERS Average Male or Female Age �� + Caring for a Parent $274,044 $300K $142,693 tive screenings is devoted to cancer screenings not recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. “Even though the group’s guidelines are considered the gold standard for medical care, its detailed recommendations are largely ignored,” the pair wrote. “It is up to patients and their doctors to proceed wisely considering age, costs, benefits, risks and individual needs,” Johnson said. “But no co-pays, coinsurance or deductibles for preventive services is a big change for Medicare, and a welcome change for seniors who recognize that preventing illness is the key to living well and living longer.” Colonoscopy is an example of a preventive screening procedure that can easily become diagnostic and is not recom- $126,934 M edicare has eliminated out-of-pocket costs for most preventive screening services, but the manager of the Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program warns patients to proceed carefully. “There’s been some confusion where people get a charge they weren’t expecting because something they considered preventive becomes diagnostic,” said Martha Johnson, HICAP’s manager. “The bottom line: there could be co-payment required.” An Oct. 7, 2011 story posted by iWatch News by The Center of Public Integrity underscored the need for patient involvement for another reason. According to the report by Rochelle Sharp and Elizabeth Lucas, 40 percent of Medicare’s spending on common preven- $120,616 Preventive Screenings: Free . . . but not of Risk mended by the USPSTF in people age 75 and older. Even so, the iWatch probe discovered Medicare processed 10 million colon cancer screening claims for people in that age group — and that was in a five-year period before Medicare introduced free preventive screenings in 2011. “The colonoscopy is free, but once they are in there and discover a polyp or two, they are going to remove them. That makes it diagnostic,” Johnson SPRING 2012 Labor Force Exit TOTAL IMPACT Graph does not include lost revenue from private pensions Source: MetLife Mature Market Institute, The MetLife Study of Caregiving Costs to Working Caregivers, 2011 SPECIAL INSERT TO THE NORTH COAST JOURNAL • THURSDAY, APRIL 5, 2012 1

Gray Matters Spring 2012

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