English Comp. 1
25 March 2012
Telehealth and America’s Aging Population America is facing a crisis. Federal spending on health care is at an all-time high, and is projected to continue growing. Two large contributors to this growth are the ever-expanding proportion of senior citizens, and the enormous costs of long-term care. A well-received solution, seemingly taken right out of the pages of someone’s favorite science-fiction novel, telehealth is currently being tested and used today. The University of Washington Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Aging staff defines telehealth as “the use of telecommunications technologies to exchange health information and provide healthcare services” (House Call 19). The preliminary results of the utilization of this new technology has shown promising ways to help the elderly remain in their homes longer, and provide cost-saving benefits for the elderly and the government. In an article found on Senior Journal.com, “New Roles for Increasing Percentage of Older Citizens in an Aging America;” author Stephen Tung reports that, as of Feb. 2012, in the United States 10,000 people reach the age of 65 every day (1). In addition, the report highlighting statistics from the Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics; “Senior Citizens Doing Better, Health Care Costs a Big Problem says Older Americans 2010” as of 2008, there were approximately 39 million people over the age of 65. By the year 2030, this number is expected to almost double, to about 72 million (Seniors Doing Better). With the onset of America’s aging population, skyrocketing Medicare and Medicaid costs have become a major source of concern for the government. On the website for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in the National Health Expenditures Projections 2010-2020, the government reports that 925.7 billion dollars was spent on...