According to the CDC, 61 percent of US adults turn to the internet for health and medical information. While this is not surprising, it can be problematic. What begins as a quick online search often turns into hours of time wasted sifting through information, hidden ads and provider ratings that are based on personal interaction, not patient outcomes. Additionally, online searches don’t allow for the most personalized and accurate answers.
The challenge increases when the patient seeking medical providers and recommendations is a Medicare member. These individuals are seniors who are either searching for healthcare options for themselves or relying on an adult child to assist with their healthcare. Both these categories pose challenges.
The CDC states that more than two-thirds of seniors in the U.S. who are battling two or more chronic diseases, are also struggling with subjective cognitive decline (SCD); worsening or more frequent confusion and memory loss. Thus, these seniors who are in the most crucial need of reliable healthcare assistance, have difficulty understanding the information provided through internet searches.
For adult children who assist elderly parents in navigating this process, the burden is substantial. According to the Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA), 61 percent of those doing so are employed, spending an average of 20.8 hours a week on care duty on top of professional work. Adults who become caregivers for family members are also more likely to suffer from elevated depression and anxiety, a decline in their physical health and even a compromised immune system as a result.
The reality is, there are resources available that can relieve the burden for these family care advocates without sacrificing the best and most reliable care for their loved ones – but do they actually help?
Unpaid family caregivers don’t have the time to keep searching online or trying one app after another. They also can’t rely on incohesive online portals from every individual doctor the patient sees, updating and transferring medical records and insurance information from portal to portal.
This dilemma was the genesis for Radius Care, a free, data-driven guide to help Medicare members find healthcare providers who have successfully treated similar patients. The platform securely connects to a patient’s care records through Medicare.gov and reviews de-identified data, providing an accurate understanding of the patient’s health concerns. The platform then delivers diagnosis-specific information that patients and families can trust, comprehend, and seamlessly mobilize into a proactive and cohesive healthcare plan.
More importantly, Medicare members can grant access to family care advocates through the platform, enabling them to receive alerts anytime the patient’s health change occurs. Keeping ahead of health changes puts the family in a more proactive state and streamlines communication around care options and decisions.
The bottom line is that while the internet is a useful tool to find answers to some questions, your health isn’t one of them. Radius Care’s mission is to illuminate reliable health information to eliminate the confusion and guesswork, allowing Medicare patients and their families more time together and less time searching for accurate results.