Palliative care eligibility does not guarantee patients get it | RN: HELP promotes transition to end-of-life care | End-of-life love letters help resolve problems, give comfort
February 16, 2018
Hospice and Palliative Medicine SmartBrief
News for physicians caring for the seriously ill
Top Story
Palliative care eligibility does not guarantee patients get it
A study in JAMA Internal Medicine found 70% of 228 nursing home residents were eligible for palliative care, but only two were in hospice and none was receiving consultative palliative care. Researcher Caroline Stephens said the patients lack palliative care services and clinicians available to provide them.
GeriPal blog (2/13) 
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Palliative & Hospice Care Update
RN: HELP promotes transition to end-of-life care
A model called HELP that combines technology with candid conversations can help patients transition to end-of-life care and control costs, writes registered nurse Whende Carroll, director of Nursing Informatics at KenSci. HELP includes having a conversation with patients and using predictive analysis in assessing patient prognosis.
McKnight's Long-Term Care News online (2/9) 
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Patient & Family Perspective
End-of-life love letters help resolve problems, give comfort
Shary Farr holds workshops at the Hospice Giving Foundation in Monterey, Calif., about writing end-of-life love letters to family and friends. "I think each and every one of us wants to leave love behind, no matter what," Farr said.
KAZU-FM (Seaside, Calif.) (2/14) 
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Medical Research
Study looks at newer antipsychotic among Alzheimer's patients
A drugmaker-funded study in The Lancet Neurology showed a newer antipsychotic, pimavanserin, may reduce psychosis symptoms in Alzheimer's disease patients without the side effects linked to other antipsychotics. Pimavanserin blocks the THT2A nerve receptor in the brain.
HealthDay News (2/14) 
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Dementia risk higher for survivors of childhood heart defects
Adults who had a childhood heart defect were over two times more likely to develop early-onset dementia than those who did not have a heart defect, and the risk escalated with the severity of the heart condition, researchers reported in the journal Circulation. Adult survivors of childhood heart defects also were 30% more likely to develop dementia after age 65.
Reuters (2/12) 
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Review examines opioid-induced constipation therapy
A systematic review and meta-analysis of 27 placebo-controlled trials involving more than 5,000 patients with cancer- and noncancer-related pain found use of mu-opioid receptor antagonists was safe and effective for opioid-induced constipation. The findings, published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, showed greater likelihood of effective treatment among patients with opioid-induced constipation refractory to laxatives and among those receiving higher opiate doses.
MedPage Today (free registration) (2/13) 
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Health Policy & Practice
HHS head says priorities are value in Medicare, Rx prices, telehealth
HHS head says priorities are value in Medicare, Rx prices, telehealth
Azar (Getty Images)
HHS Secretary Alex Azar told lawmakers during a House committee hearing that HHS remains committed to ensuring affordable access to health care and keeping Medicare solvent by driving out fraud, waste and abuse. Azar said his priorities include shifting Medicare toward a more value-based, outcome-based program; reducing prescription drug costs; and expanding telehealth services.
HealthLeaders Media (2/14) 
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CMS: Health care spending to hit $5.7T by 2026
A CMS report published in Health Affairs estimated health care will account for 19.7% of the US economy by 2026, compared with 17.9% in 2016, with spending projected at $5.7 trillion by 2026, compared with the current $3.5 trillion. The report projected Medicare's annual growth at an average of 7.4% and Medicaid at 5.8% through 2026.
Medscape (free registration) (2/14) 
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Aid-in-dying restricted at veterans homes
A California Department of Veterans Affairs rule requires veterans at state homes to be discharged if they want to take advantage of the state's medical aid-in-dying law. A federal law bans use of government resources for physician-assisted death, and Oregon, Colorado and Vermont, which also have assisted death laws, prohibit use of aid-in-dying drugs in state-run veterans home.
Kaiser Health News (2/13) 
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Trends & Technology
Survey examines telemedicine adoption among health care execs
Forty-four percent of health care executives reported that they haven't implemented telehealth in their organizations, and 86% of that group cited telemedicine deployment as a medium to high priority, according to a Sage Growth Partners poll. The survey also showed that 66% of those who adopted telehealth had budgets of $250,000 or less, while 75% expect a positive return on investment for telehealth initiatives during the next three years in the outpatient clinic.
MedCity News (2/12) 
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Looking for a new opportunity?
The AAHPM JobMart currently has over 200 postings, including physicians, clinical faculty, medical directors, and nurse managers. Consider posting openings at your organization or search for your next position.
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February HPMQ video -- Opioid dependence
AAHPM's video series called HPMQ, Hospice and Palliative Medicine Question, has released its newest video to help address difficult topics that you may face in your organization. This month's video asks "How do we provide quality care for patients at high risk for opioid dependence?" presented by Nelia Jain, M.D. Watch the video now.
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