Pancreatic cancer guideline includes palliative care | Minn. encourages end-of-life care discussions | Doctor: Patients should be active participants in their care
April 26, 2017
Hospice and Palliative Medicine SmartBrief
News for physicians caring for the seriously ill
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Pancreatic cancer guideline includes palliative care
An American Society of Clinical Oncology clinical guideline governing treatment of patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer includes strong recommendations that patients be informed about palliative care. The guideline, published in Journal of Oncology Practice following a review of scientific evidence, said patients will need assessments of symptom burden and, in most cases, those assessments will "indicate a need for formal palliative care consult and services." (4/25) 
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Palliative & Hospice Care Update
Minn. encourages end-of-life care discussions
Minnesota has taken the lead in promoting end-of-life care discussions for young and old residents. Initiatives include a state Department of Health program to encourage families, caregivers and health care practitioners to talk about end-of-life choices, the Metropolitan Area Agency on Aging's Senior LinkAge outreach team, and mandatory palliative and comfort care sessions for University of Minnesota medical students.
Star Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.) (tiered subscription model) (4/22) 
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Doctor: Patients should be active participants in their care
People who are active participants in their health care decisions, regardless of how bad their diagnosis, have the best chance of receiving care consistent with their values, goals and preferences, said palliative care specialist Dr. Steven Pantilat of the University of California at San Francisco School of Medicine. Pantilat, author of "Life After the Diagnosis," said patients should ask their physicians lots of questions and push for a prognosis.
The Sacramento Bee (Calif.) (tiered subscription model) (4/24) 
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POLST task force updates policy on appropriate use
The National POLST Paradigm Task Force has updated its policy on appropriate use of Physician Orders For Life Saving Treatment forms. Dr. Karl Steinberg said that unlike an advanced directive, POLST is not for everyone, including most people who do not expect to have a limited life expectancy.
GeriPal blog (4/24) 
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Other News
Patient & Family Perspective
Palliative care helps cancer patient with treatment side effects
As a nurse, Carol Goldstein knew she wanted palliative care for her late-stage ovarian cancer. She signed up for the University of Colorado Cancer Center's palliative care program, receiving aid from a psychologist and a dietitian, who helped with treatment side effects, such as diarrhea, constipation and gastrointestinal pain.
Cure Today (4/25) 
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Medical Research
Older patients cured of HBV at higher risk of liver cancer
Patients over age 50 who are functionally cured of hepatitis B still have a higher risk of liver cancer, according to a study presented at the International Liver Congress 2017. Researchers said study data showed most patients who developed hepatocellular carcinoma were men.
Medscape (free registration) (4/21) 
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Studies on patient-physician talks may not include hearing loss
Many studies on patient-physician communications fail to include how a patient's hearing loss can affect the quality of discussions, researchers reported in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. The analysis found just 16 of 67 research papers mentioned patient hearing loss, even though the condition is prevalent among older patients. (4/24) 
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Health Policy & Practice
CMS sets deadline for comments on proposed EHR incentive program changes
The CMS will accept formal comments on proposed changes to the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs until June 13. These changes include revising the EHR reporting period from the full calendar year to any continuous 90-day period, implementing a policy that would not allow payment adjustments for eligible professionals who conduct most of their professional services in ambulatory surgery centers, and adding a Medicare payment adjustment for eligible hospitals and professionals who cannot comply with meaningful-use requirements because of decertified technology. (4/24) 
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Trends & Technology
Klick Labs develops device that recreates symptoms of Parkinson's disease
Klick Labs in Toronto has developed the SymPulse Tele-Empathy Device, which continuously records Parkinson's and other patients' tremors and transmits the data via Bluetooth to an electrical muscle stimulation armband for physicians or caregivers. The goal of the device is to promote better care and clinical empathy for patients with tremors, the company says.
Healthcare Informatics online (4/24) 
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One week left to submit an abstract for the 2018 Annual Assembly
Are you interested in presenting at the 2018 Annual Assembly in Boston? Time is running out! AAHPM's call for workshop, concurrent and SIG-endorsed session abstracts is open through May 2. Submit today!
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Celebrating YOU on National Volunteer Week
This week, we are celebrating you! We wanted to express our true gratitude for your dedication and commitment to advancing the field of hospice and palliative medicine. Whether you volunteer with AAHPM or within the field, we thank you for your time, care and support you provide to patients and their families.
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All types of knowledge ultimately mean self-knowledge.
Bruce Lee,
martial artist, actor and filmmaker
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