A study of Medicare patients showed no significant racial disparities in the quality of end-of-life-care they received, researchers wrote in JAMA Internal Medicine. The study found hospice care was used by fewer black patients than white patients in the final month of life.
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Research in the Journal of Cardiac Failure showed 13% of cardiologists equated deactivation of left ventricular assist devices with euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide, and 60% said death should be imminent before deactivation. None of the hospice and palliative medicine clinicians surveyed said LVAD deactivation was associated with euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide and just 2% said patients should be near death before devices are deactivated.
Oregon Health & Science University worked with technology firm Vynca to give clinicians electronic access to the 172,000 active Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment forms in the state, regardless of where they were filed. Since the registry went active on June 1, it has been used almost 14,000 times.
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Hospice caregivers find visions can be common among dying patients, but their family members can find hearing about the visions to be stressful. Dying patients who have visions should be encouraged to talk about them because the experiences have meaning for them and reduce feelings of isolation and the fear of death, said Dr. Christopher Kerr.
Use of the Multidisciplinary Multistep Medication Review intervention resulted in 39.1% of elderly nursing home patients stopping at least one potentially inappropriate medication, compared with 29.5% of patients who received usual care, a study in the Annals of Internal Medicine showed. Physicians wrote in an accompanying editorial that better results may be obtained by focusing on deprescribing drugs that no longer are appropriate due to a patient's age or conditions.
A study in Diabetes Care showed that adults with diabetes and high grip strength had lower cardiovascular disease mortality and all-cause mortality risks and a lower CVD incidence than those with low grip strength. Researchers analyzed data from the UK Biobank on 347,130 adults, mean age of 55.9, and suggested that measuring grip strength could help predict future CVD risk in patients and that maintaining muscle strength may be important.
Most of the 1% of infants born with congenital heart disease will reach adulthood, but these children are more likely to develop lifelong disorders such as autism, cardiac arrhythmias and respiratory problems than those without CHD, researchers reported in the journal Nature Genetics. The authors report an association between some autism-linked genes and CHD, and they found respiratory ailments associated with cilia defects in some patients with congestive heart failure.
Register Now for the 2018 Assembly The 2018 Annual Assembly of Hospice and Palliative Care will be held March 14-17, 2018 in Boston, MA. This Assembly will bring fresh ideas, a chance to connect and meet with new professionals, and the ability to become re-energized in your practice. See what you can discover at the Assembly.
A coalition of national groups supports changes in the law that requires a three-day inpatient hospital stay to qualify for nursing home coverage under Medicare. The group contends hospital stays are much shorter now than they were when the law was written, making it obsolete and a barrier to accessing skilled nursing care.
Health care provider group practices that do not regularly perform and document valid information security risk assessments could have Medicare payments reduced by 25% under the Merit-based Incentive Payment System. The HHS Office for Civil Rights and Office of the National Coordinator websites offer guides for meeting the requirement.
Assisted living provider Maplewood Senior Living uses the Rendever virtual reality headset with residents who have cognitive and physical impairments, individually and in group therapy. Brian Geyser, a Maplewood vice president, says the intervention has had a positive effect and he wants to know more about its potential uses with older adults and others who might not do physical therapy.
The call for case submissions is now open. This is your opportunity to share and disseminate best practices in the field. Consider both the impact of your topic or research on diverse and underserved populations and the relevance to the diverse groups of attendees. The call will be open until Nov. 1 at noon Pacific Time, so be sure to plan ahead! The Annual Assembly will be held March 14-17, 2018 in Boston.