Azar says Medicare should test palliative care payment model | Report: Calif. sees increases in palliative care | Calif. plans special medical unit for inmates with dementia
June 20, 2018
Hospice and Palliative Medicine SmartBrief
News for physicians caring for the seriously ill
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Azar says Medicare should test palliative care payment model
HHS Secretary Alex Azar said Medicare should test a physician payment plan for beneficiaries with serious, life-threatening illnesses. The American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care have sent two alternative payment models to a review committee.
Bloomberg BNA (free content) (6/18) 
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Palliative & Hospice Care Update
Report: Calif. sees increases in palliative care
A California Healthcare Foundation mapping project found more palliative care programs in the state and more people receiving palliative care services than four years ago. A 2014 report found about 25% to 50% of palliative care needs were met and services were unevenly distributed, while the 2018 data found inpatient capacity to meet 43% to 66% of needs and community-based capacity of 33% to 51% of needs.
California Health Report (6/18) 
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Calif. plans special medical unit for inmates with dementia
California Correctional Health Care Services is in the early phases of developing a special unit for inmates with dementia at the state's main medical facility for prisons. California and other states are dealing with an aging inmate population, and a 2015 Department of Justice report found 44% of US inmates over age 50 have disabilities.
Reuters (6/19) 
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Patient & Family Perspective
Drones help hospice patients travel to favorite places
Jim Plescia's progressive supranuclear palsy kept him from traveling to Italy with his wife, but an Italian drone pilot took the couple back to the village of Godrano, where Jim traced his roots, flying along the mountains and neighborhoods. Hospice of the Western Reserve arranged the tour through the nonprofit Flight to Remember Foundation, which helps patients see places where they are longer are able to go in person.
The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) (6/17) 
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Medical Research
Study compares oral anticoagulants in frail patients
A study in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that Xarelto, or rivaroxaban, was associated with reduced rates of stroke and systemic embolism compared with warfarin in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation and frailty. The risk of major bleeding was similar in the study.
Healio (free registration)/Cardiology Today (6/14) 
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Women with colorectal cancer have greater risk of chemo side effects
A research letter in JAMA Oncology found women with colorectal cancer had a higher rate of toxic side effects from chemotherapy, including nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, than men with colorectal cancer. The findings are similar to results of a separate study presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology's annual meeting earlier this month.
Medscape (free registration) (6/14) 
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Gout may increase likelihood of dementia in seniors
Seniors with gout were 17% to 20% more likely to develop dementia, compared with those without gout, researchers reported at the European Congress of Rheumatology. The findings, based on data involving 1.23 million Medicare beneficiaries, showed a stronger link between gout and dementia among women, those in older age groups, African-Americans and those with higher medical comorbidity.
Psych Central (6/17) 
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Health Policy & Practice
Right to Try Act may compromise patient safety, study suggests
The pharmaceutical industry and the FDA have been working together for the past two decades to ensure that new drugs approved by the agency do not endanger the lives of patients, and access to unapproved treatments and investigational medicines through the Right to Try Act could compromise patient safety, according to a study by researchers from the Yale School of Medicine. The findings were published in the journal JAMA Network Open.
Healio (free registration) (6/15) 
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Other News
Trends & Technology
Health care organizations focus investments on elder care
A survey of executives and other leaders at almost 500 health care organizations found their most common investment plans for 2020 include home care, palliative care and geriatric caretakers, according to BDO's Candid Conversations on Elder Care report. Medicare reimbursement for advance care planning is part of the picture, but a big driver is that senior consumers will make up more than 20% of the population by 2029.
HealthLeaders Media (6/18) 
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AAHPM News
Early-bird rate for pediatric course ends June 29
Been thinking about the pediatrics course on Aug. 9 to 11, 2018, in Minneapolis? Now is the time to register! Save $100 by registering by June 29. Pedi-Innovate aims to advance pediatrics in hospice and palliative care for children with serious illness in order to optimize their quality of life. Learn more and register now to deepen your knowledge and understanding of this rapidly evolving field.
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Early-bird rate for Intensive Board Review Course ends June 29
Book your hotel and register now for the Intensive Board Review Course to help prepare you for the Hospice and Palliative Medicine certification examination this fall. The review course will be held Aug. 9 to 11, 2018, in Minneapolis. View the course schedule, objectives, faculty and register.
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It is pleasant to observe by what regular gradations we surmount the force of local prejudice as we enlarge our acquaintance with the world.
Thomas Paine,
philosopher, political theorist and revolutionary
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