Health care advocates say Iowans should use Father’s Day weekend to check on their dads’ health. Kim Downs, with the Iowa Foundation for Medical Care, says you can show you care by inquiring about his health, whether over the phone or during an in-person visit. “We want to make sure fathers are getting the best possible preventive health care, especially for heart conditions,” Downs says. She says the nation has seen an “epidemic increase” in heart failure and related hospitalizations between the 1970s and 1990s, and the increase affects more men than women. She says some dads will evade fully answering questions about their health and may need a little friendly badgering. Downs, the Foundation’s senior director of quality improvement, says Families “may need to probe a little bit more and make sure their dads are getting in for regular check-ups and making sure they’re following a good heart-healthy diet including exercise and activities. If there are symptoms of heart problems, seek medical care promptly to make sure those symptoms don’t get worse.” Downs says recent studies find many men avoid going to the doctor until a health problem becomes serious. She says that can certainly happen with men, but it also happens with women, and she stresses that prevention is the area of focus. Down says consumers can consult a couple of websites to see how their local hospitals stack up for cardiac care. You can compare how well health care providers are actually providing the recommended care for people who’ve had heart attacks or other ailments. Downs recommends “medicare.gov” or “www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov” or you can call 800-MEDICARE.
Related web sites:
Health & Human Services website comparing hospitals