Pediatric palliative care uneven in U.S., expert says | Hospitalization in final year of life may worsen disabilities | U.S. needs to train more geriatric, palliative physicians
May 22, 2015
Hospice and Palliative Medicine SmartBrief
News for physicians caring for the seriously ill

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Pediatric palliative care uneven in U.S., expert says
Too many seriously ill children lack access to pediatric palliative care in the U.S., writes palliative care expert Dr. Joanne Wolfe, co-chair of the Institute of Medicine Workshop on Comprehensive Care for Children with Cancer. Families need broader support when children are ill, and acute care and palliative models should be merged to provide better care overall, Wolfe writes. WBUR-FM (Boston) (5/21)
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NCI-funded Building, Implementing and Evaluating Supportive Care Programs Training
Learn how to implement, maintain and grow supportive care programs of excellence. Workshop is scheduled from October 23 to 25, 2015 at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Apply now.
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Palliative & Hospice Care Update Sponsored By
Hospitalization in final year of life may worsen disabilities
Hospital admission and readmission in the final year of life may cause a patient's existing disabilities to worsen, researchers reported in BMJ. Researchers said clinicians should consider a palliative care approach with these patients to help them handle personal care needs and begin advance care planning discussions. McKnight's Long-Term Care News (5/20)
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U.S. needs to train more geriatric, palliative physicians
The U.S. population is aging but medical schools are not turning out enough physicians who are specially trained to care for older patients, writes Dr. Paul Tatum of the University of Missouri School of Medicine. A National Geriatrics and Palliative Service Corps would help create a workforce that can care for older adults and congressional support is needed for programs that train geriatric and palliative care faculty, Tatum writes. GeriPal blog (5/19)
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Other News
NCI-funded Implementing Biopsychosocial Screening Program Training
Learn how to successfully implement biopsychosocial screening programs of excellence and meet the new 2015 ACoS accreditation standards. Workshop is scheduled for September 10-11, 2015 at City of Hope in Duarte, CA.
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For further information please email us at or visit us at
* Training is at no cost for competitively selected trainees * Hotel stay for 2 nights included* Space is limited to 40 trainees per workshop * Receive AMA PRA Category 1 Credits*
Patient & Family Perspective
Cancer patient urges more use of palliative, hospice care
A 32-year-old woman with terminal lung cancer said she knows that if one day is bad the next does not have to be. Stephanie Packer wants other people with terminal illness to consider using palliative and hospice services. "Death can be beautiful and peaceful," Packer said. Kaiser Health News/Southern California Public Radio/National Public Radio (5/20)
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FEATURED ARTICLE: Understanding the Power of the Pareto Principle
Here's how the Pareto Principle, also known as the 80-20 rule, can show you which customers you should spend the most time with. Read the article to learn more.

Medical Research
Nurses test multidisciplinary approach for delirium in ICU
A study presented at a meeting of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses found that a nurse-led multidisciplinary approach to caring for delirium patients in an intensive care unit was associated with shorter episodes of delirium as well as reduced duration of benzodiazepine and opiate therapy. The team included a pharmacist, an exercise physiologist, a physician and a critical care nurse. Medscape (free registration) (5/19)
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Study links iron levels with Alzheimer's progression
A 302-patient study in the journal Nature Communications found that elevated cerebrospinal levels of ferritin were associated with faster progression from mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer's disease. Patients with higher levels of iron were also more likely to have the ApoE4 gene, which is associated with Alzheimer's risk. Irish Examiner (5/19), ABC (Australia) (5/20), New Scientist (5/19)
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Health Policy & Practice
Nursing home industry objects to MedPAC position on Medicare pay
The American Health Care Association objected to a Medicare Payment Advisory Commission recommendation that the CMS rescind a planned $500 million increase in nursing home payments. The commission said a payment update is not warranted because current funding levels are adequate to cover cost growth, but the AHCA said MedPAC data show nursing homes have an overall margin of 1.9%. McKnight's Long-Term Care News (5/20)
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Trends & Technology
Apps for hospice, palliative professionals and patients
Dr. Eric Widera of the University of California at San Francisco shares mobile applications and resources that hospice and palliative care professionals can use for patient education and clinical practice. The list includes resources presented at the American Geriatrics Society's annual meeting. GeriPal blog (5/20)
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Need to brush up on your knowledge of medication, palliative wound care and more?
AAHPM is proud to offer four CME courses online at Relias Academy. The courses now offered are Our Double-Edged Sword: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Balancing Symptom Control; Palliative Care "Bucket List Skills" Learned from a Difficult Case; Palliative Wound Care; and Speed Dating with Pharmacists: 50 Practical Medication Tips. View these online courses and enroll in CME.
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How to avoid burnout and sustain the hospice and palliative care workforce
There is a growing demand for hospice and palliative care services, creating a shortage of clinicians with limited providers in the pipeline to deal with this growing need. Learn about the risk factors for burnout along with strategies for building resiliency, improvement of well-being and self-care. A webinar recording (synchronized PowerPoint or audio) is available for purchase at the AAHPM store.
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Tough times never last, but tough people do."
-- Robert Schuller,
clergyman, writer and motivational speaker
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