After a series of falls in August 2020, Lisa Roberts’ husband, John, 65, spent 14 months recovering. He was finally discharged in a wheelchair last December to their Old Bridge Township home. He loves being home, but the physical therapy he was supposed to receive was cut back because of a worker shortage.
The shift to virtual health care during the coronavirus pandemic brought into focus the reality that many Pennsylvania residents lack technological literacy or access to high-speed internet—both problems that disproportionately affect the state’s older population.
Advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) are trained to diagnose and treat patients, but the state requires the oversight of a doctor for them to prescribe medicine. Nurse practitioners say finding a physician to enter into an agreement with can be difficult and cost as much as $1,000 a month in fees.
Financial Empowerment Center counselors can help individuals find housing or emergency assistance, open and learn how to use a bank account, or work out payment plans with creditors, among other services.
A statewide information system that allows doctors, hospitals and other health care providers share medical records in real time is helping to improve patient care.
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