Study shows increase in hospice use along with intensive care | Calif. to help Medicaid plans provide palliative care | Palliative care expands in Wash.
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October 24, 2014
Hospice and Palliative Medicine SmartBrief
News for physicians caring for the seriously ill

Top Story
Study shows increase in hospice use along with intensive care
An analysis of data involving nearly 7,000 older ovarian cancer patients found that access to hospice services increased in the last month of life from 1997 to 2007, as did intensive end-of-life care, including ICU admissions. Dana-Farber Cancer Institute researchers wrote in the Journal of Clinical Oncology that terminal hospitalizations declined during the study period. When patients received hospice referrals, inpatients were more likely than outpatients to enroll within three days of death. News (10/22)
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Palliative & Hospice Care Update
Calif. to help Medicaid plans provide palliative care
A new California law that requires the state to help Medicaid managed care plans provide palliative care services may partly be credited to the success of the Partners for Children palliative care pilot project that improved quality of life, reduced hospital stays and saved money, writes Dr. Gary Buckholz of the University of California, San Diego. The state will develop rules for the Medicaid program, and it is important that the eligibility requirements be carefully calibrated, Buckholz writes. Pallimed blog (10/21)
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Palliative care expands in Wash.
The National Palliative Care Research Center and the Center to Advance Palliative Care gave Washington state an "A" for the availability of palliative care services. University of Washington Palliative Care Center of Excellence Director Randy Curtis said awareness of palliative care has been increasing in the state in the past five years. American City Business Journals/Seattle/Health Care Inc. Northwest blog (10/21)
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Nursing groups launch hospice, palliative care campaign
Three hospice and palliative nursing groups have begun a $5 million Advancing Expert Care Campaign to train nurses and other clinicians in hospice and palliative care. The campaign will focus on education, best-practices research, nurse leadership programs and certification. FierceHealthcare (10/20)
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Patient & Family Perspective
Many cancer patients make lifestyle, treatment changes to afford care
A survey of patients with colorectal, breast and other solid tumor cancers who sought help paying for their medical care found that 89% made lifestyle changes to help handle treatment costs. The study from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute found 39% of patients coped with expenses by adjusting their medical care, including not getting prescriptions filled or taking less medicine than their doctor prescribed. Healio (free registration)/HemOncToday (10/21)
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Medical Research
Aprepitant improves condition of myeloma patients after transplant
Treatment with aprepitant reduced chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting among multiple myeloma patients undergoing high-dose melphalan conditioning and autologous stem cell transplants, according to a study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. The NK-1 antagonist was given with the anti-nausea drug granisetron and the corticosteroid dexamethasone. Healio (free registration)/HemOnc Today (10/21)
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Study IDs factors linked to dementia risks in Parkinson's
McGill University researchers said nonmotor and nondopaminergic motor factors that may raise the risk of dementia in Parkinson's disease patients include orthostatic hypotension, REM sleep behavior disorder and impaired color vision. The study in the journal Neurology included 80 patients who were followed for more than four years. MedWire News (U.K.) (10/20)
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Health Policy & Practice
HHS announces $840M effort to modernize individual practices
A total of $840 million in funding will be allotted for helping individual medical practices shift from volume-based care to value-based care, HHS officials said Thursday. The Transforming Clinical Practice program aims to improve the use of electronic health records and coordination of patient care among health care providers. The Hill (10/23)
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Post-election Congress faces decisions on CHIP, SGR
When Congress reconvenes after the November elections, it will be faced with decisions about reauthorizing the Children's Health Insurance Program and repealing the sustainable growth rate formula. Costs are an issue, but the latest SGR fix expires at the end of the year and CHIP needs to be addressed because of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, experts said. MedPage Today (free registration) (10/22)
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Trends & Technology
CMS call to address EHR flexibility rule
The CMS is planning a call to discuss the 2014 Certified EHR Technology Flexibility Rule and how medical professionals can use it to satisfy 2014 meaningful use requirements. The call is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET Oct. 30. (10/21)
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Submit a case proposal for the 2015 AAHPM & HPNA Annual Assembly
Are you interested in presenting at the 2015 Annual Assembly in Philadelphia? AAHPM and HPNA's call for Case submission is open through Nov. 3, 2014. Submit a proposal today.
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Take a research survey on hearing loss in hospice and palliative care
Researchers at UCSF are looking for members of the hospice and palliative care community to answer a brief survey about caring for patients with hearing loss. The survey is anonymous and brief. It should take you approximately 5 minutes or less. Take the survey.
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Editor's Note
A headline in the Oct. 8 Hospice and Palliative Medicine SmartBrief incorrectly described a measure of the Impact Act that affects hospice recertification. The law requires surveys of hospices at least once every three years. SmartBrief regrets the error.
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Who's Hiring?
Position TitleCompany NameLocation
PhysicianHospice Care NetworkNassau and Suffolk Counties, NY
Ideal Palliative Care Physician Opportunity - Beautiful Greenville, SCGreenville Health SystemGreenville, SC
Palliative Care Physician/Medical DirectorOSF Healthcare SystemPeoria, IL
Click here to view more job listings.
Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each."
-- Henry David Thoreau,
American writer and naturalist
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