CMS allows hospices to continue hiring contract nurses | Raise awareness on World Hospice and Palliative Care Day | Experts support individual treatment plans for cancer pain
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October 10, 2014
Hospice and Palliative Medicine SmartBrief
News for physicians caring for the seriously ill
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CMS allows hospices to continue hiring contract nurses
The CMS said hospices may continue to hire contract nurses through the end of September 2016, because a shortage of nurses exists in the U.S. Regulations allow the use of contract nursing staff only under extraordinary circumstances, and CMS has decided the shortage, as designated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, continues to meet that qualification. McKnight's Long-Term Care News (10/8)
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Palliative & Hospice Care Update
Raise awareness on World Hospice and Palliative Care Day
Saturday is World Hospice and Palliative Care Day, an event to raise awareness of both types of care. Wayne Tokley of New Zealand, who has cancer, said hospice care has helped him complete his bucket list and provided support through his illness. "You plan for tomorrow and live for today," he said. Pallimed blog (10/8), Taranaki Daily News (New Zealand) (10/7)
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Other News
Patient & Family Perspective
Dementia patients will need help eating, caregiver says
Dementia patients can need more help eating as the disease progresses, whether that help involves getting them to the table or getting them to eat at all, writes Gary LeBlanc, a caregiver whose father had Alzheimer's disease. He says issues such as the color of table linens and dishes, the placement of food on the plate, difficulty handling utensils, and difficulty swallowing can affect the ability to eat. Hernando Today (Fla.) (10/8)
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Medical Research
Research shows increase rates of nursing home infections
Nursing home infection rates are increasing and better hygiene is needed, according to researchers from the Columbia University School of Nursing, who are to present the study at the infectious disease conference IDWeek 2014. The most common infections were urinary tract infections and pneumonia, but there was a 48% increase in viral hepatitis over five years and an 18% increase in bacterial infections resistant to multiple medications. HealthDay News (10/8)
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Fewer heart disease deaths help boost U.S. life expectancy
Average life expectancy for a baby born in 2012 is 78.8 years, according to the CDC, a new high credited partly to fewer deaths from heart disease, cancer and chronic illness. The figure is a one-month increase over the 2011 estimate, and eight of the top 10 sources of mortality decreased, including a 1.8% drop in heart disease-related deaths and a 1.5% decrease in cancer mortality. Bloomberg (10/8)
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Health Policy & Practice
Ill. AG supports cameras in nursing home rooms
The Illinois attorney general's office is drafting a measure that would allow families of nursing home patients to install cameras in their loved ones' rooms. The cameras would not be accessible to facility administrators. The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/The New Old Age (10/8)
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Hurdles could still hinder ACA success, academics say
Political, operational, financial and legal issues could yet stymie the Affordable Care Act, panelists at a health care forum said. The public remains largely uneducated on various aspects of the complex law, and some legal challenges have not been resolved. HealthLeaders Media (10/7)
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Trends & Technology
EHRs may not fully integrate advance directives, expert says
Advance directives are part of meaningful use requirements, but consultant Carl Bergman says only four EHR products have ways to record a patient's advance directive status. An advance directive may not be effective unless an EHR helps make it readily available and doesn't treat it like "a miscellaneous document," Bergman said. FierceEMR (10/8)
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Companion robot from Toshiba can communicate in sign language
Toshiba is demonstrating a new anthropomorphic robot that can communicate with humans using sign language and may one day serve as a companion for the elderly and people with dementia. The android, which resembles a young Japanese woman and currently mimics only a few simple gestures, was developed with help from several universities and relies on a special algorithm to control its 43 joint motors. PhysOrg.com (10/7)
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Featured Press Releases
 
AAHPM News
Attend the 2015 AAHPM & HPNA Annual Assembly Feb. 25-28 in Philadelphia
Join the more than 2,400 hospice and palliative care professionals who meet once each year to gain knowledge directly from leaders in the field. Learn the latest scientific advances. Get inspired and invigorated by captivating speakers who will remind you why you chose to work in hospice and palliative care. Share best practices, ask questions and build long-lasting relationships. Save $100 on the cost of registration when you register by Jan. 19.
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Intensive Board Review Course recordings
The 2014 AAHPM Intensive Board Review Course is now available on a DVD that includes MP3 (audio only) and MP4 (synchronized audio and PowerPoint). Listen to these fast-paced and intensive reviews of best clinical practices on your desktop, tablet or on the go. This recording features a 50 item post-test and up to 18.5 AMA PRA Category 1TM credits are available. Purchase today.
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Who's Hiring?
Position TitleCompany NameLocation
AAHPM Chief Medical OfficerAAHPMChicago, IL
PhysicianHospice Care NetworkNassau and Suffolk Counties, NY
Ideal Palliative Care Physician Opportunity - Beautiful Greenville, SCGreenville Health SystemGreenville, SC
Click here to view more job listings.
 
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