METROPOLITAN LIFE ANNOUNCES AWARDS
New York - A half million dollars in new medical research awards from the Metropolitan Life Foundation were presented to two internationally recognized scientists on the cutting edge of Alzheimer's disease research.
This marks the beginning of a planned $2 million commitment over the next few years by the Metropolitan Life Foundation to support outstanding research efforts toward finding a cure for Alzheimer's disease.
Named as the first recipients of the Metropolitan Life Foundation Awards for Medical Research were Peter Davies, PhD, the Judith and Burton P. Resnick professor of Alzheimer's Disease Research, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and Dennis J. Selkoe, MD, associate professor of neurology and neuroscience, Harvard Medical School and co-director of the Center for Neurologic Diseases, Brigham and Women's Hospital.
Awards of $250,000 each were given to the scientists, which includes $200,000 to further the individual's research as well as a personal prize of $50,000.
Dr. Davies has made a number of landmark discoveries that have revolutionized research in Alzheimer's disease. In 1976, his finding that the Alzheimer brain was deficient in two enzymes established a neurochemical basis for the symptoms of the disease. Recently, he identified a new neuronal protein, A-68, which sets the stage for improvement in diagnosis and understanding the pathophysiology of the disease.
Dr. Selkoe, who has devoted his career to the study of degenerative diseases of the nervous system, particularly Alzheimer's disease, broke new ground in 1982 when he and his colleagues developed a method of isolating the abnormal brain protein fibers that are the hallmark of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Dr. Selkoe's laboratory subsequently developed the first antibodies specifically for the abnormal AD protein fibers. These antibodies, and others produced in his lab, lay the foundation for studying the origin of these fibers and for a diagnostic test. Dr. Selkoe and his colleagues recently showed that aged monkeys develop changes in the brain highly similar to Alzheimer's . His studies should provide clues about the nature of an abnormal gene that might be responsible for the occurrence of AD within different generations of the same family.
Selecting the recipients was a committee composed of Chairman Theodore Cooper, MD, vice-chairman of the board, The Upjohn Company; Suzanne Bourgeois, PhD, director, Regulatory Biology Laboratory, The Salk Institute; Robert N. Butler, MD, chairman, Gerald and May Ellen Ritter, Department of Geriatrics and Adult Development, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York; Donald S. Fredrickson, MD, president and chief executive officer, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; David A. Hamburg, MD, president, Carnegie Corporation of New York; Lewis Thomas, MD, president emeritus, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; and T. Franklin Williams, MD, director, National Institute on Aging.
NLN STUDY RECEIVES AJN AWARD
New York - The National League for Nursing (NLN) announced that Gerontology in the Professional Nursing Curriculum has been named one of the American Journal of Nursing's (AJN) Books of the Year.
The most recent of NLN's books on the challenges and problems of longterm care of the elderly, Gerontology offers educators practical and theoretical guidelines for integrating the essential subject of gerontology into nursing school curricula. In addition to discussions of age-appropriate practices, social policy issues, curriculum development, and student attitudinal problems, Gerontology includes endof-chapter bibliographies, listings of geriatric education centers, and locations for research and clinical experience.
UNIFORMS MAYBE 'MISCELLANEOUS DEDUCTIONS'
Philadelphia - Nursing uniforms are still deductible under the new Tax Reform Act of 1986, according to the Professional Apparel Association (PAA).
Nursing uniforms may be included in the "miscellaneous deductions" category under the new tax laws, according to PAA president Doris Levine. "However, PAA accountants point out that such deductions must exceed two percent of the nurse's adjusted gross income before they can be deducted."
Other items that may be counted as "miscellaneous deductions" include tax preparation fees, employees' unreimbursed business expenses, professional subscriptions and union dues.
"Only the amount that exceeds two percent of the adjusted gross income can actually be deducted under the new law which goes into effect with the filing of 1987 tax reports.
"For example, a nurse with an adjusted gross income of $25,000 must have at least $500 in 'miscellaneous deductions' before any are actually deductible," she added.
In past years, the IRS has designated uniforms, white hosiery and shoes, shirts and caps with a company insignia, as well as special tools and equipment as work-related tax deductible expenses.
LONG-TERM CARE PLAN AVAILABLE
Hartford, Conn - The Travelers has announced a new employee benefit insurance product that addresses the potentially catastrophic, long-term costs associated with debilitating chronic conditions.
Called Travelers Long-Term Care Plan, this is a new approach to longterm care insurance, according to John A. Dwyer, actuary in The Travelers Employee Benefits Department. It is a group plan aimed at the employee benefits market.
Travelers Long-Term Care Plan provides the elderly and their families with a way to avoid this type of financial catastrophe. The plan is designed to be offered on an employer-sponsored, employee-paid basis, and offers enrólleos a choice of covered services that encourage the use of care at home whenever possible, recognizing that institutional care is often viewed as a last resort by the elderly.
Home health care covered by Travelers Long-Term Care includes the services of a nurse, therapist (physical, occupational, speech, or respiratory) or home health aide. Nursing home care includes both skilled nursing and custodial levels of care.
Another key feature is coverage for adult day care, an important alternative to family members trying to juggle fulltime jobs with care-giving responsibilities. Adult day care under the plan involves therapeutic and rehabilitative care provided in a group (not residential) setting.
In Travelers Long-Term Care Plan, benefits are payable for each day on which a covered service is received. Enrollees can elect their own level of long-term care coverage up to $50 a day for home health care and adult day care and up to $100 a day for nursing home care. These amounts are payable after a standard qualifying period of 120 days, Dwyer said.
The plan is designed to cover home health and adult day care that is frequently needed over an extended period, while it provides protection for more expensive nursing home care.
According to Dwyer, Travelers Long-Term Care coverage will be available to both active and retired employees and their spouses. A sponsoring employer can also choose to make coverage available to parents of active employees as well as those of their spouses.
By making Long-Term Care available to the parents of employees, Travelers is recognizing that providing care to an impaired family member often places an employee under great emotional and financial stress, which can adversely affect job performance. A survey of the company's own employees showed that 28% of those aged 30 and over were actively involved in care giving, devoting an average often hours a week to the task.
Individuals applying for Travelers Long-Term Care coverage must complete an enrollment form, which includes medical questions. Travelers' plan has a portability feature that allows employees to continue coverage at the same premium level after they leave their jobs by paying premiums directly to The Travelers.
Initially, the ideal prospect for The Travelers plan will be employers with 10,000 or more eligible workers, Dwyer said. Travelers will first offer the plan to its existing National Accounts Group customers, he added.
The big advantage of the group approach to long-term care insurance is the lower administrative cost, which allows a greater proportion of premiums to be paid in benefits. Premium payments may be made through payroll deduction or, if the employer prefers, direct billing from The Travelers.
Long-term care refers to the health and social services that are provided to the chronically ill and functionally impaired who often need services that extend beyond the acute care delivered by hospitals and physicians. These services can include skilled nursing care, physical and occupational therapy, personal care and home healthcare services. Some services can be provided in a nursing home, but more often they are received in the patient's own home or the home of a care-giving family member.
SENIOR CITIZENS PPO SETS REQUIREMENTS
Oakbrook Terrace, III - Health Purchasers, Inc (HPI) is requiring Illinois hospitals to provide respite care services to qualify for its Senior Citizen Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) contracts. As part of HPI membership benefits, seniors will receive one free day of respite care services for each year of enrollment. Through HPI's optional long-term care financing program, hospitals will be paid for additional respite care services. Hospitals that do not have respite care programs will be provided with developmental assistance by HPI.
HPI has been endorsed by the Illinois Association of Senior Citizens, which will participate in a quality assurance oversight committee that will monitor all healthcare services provided through Senior Citizen Resource Centers established by participating hospitals. The Senior Citizen Resource Center will supervise the delivery of healthcare, legal, and financial services to HPI Senior Citizen PPO members.