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January 9, 2013
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News for physicians caring for the seriously ill

  Top Story 
  • Integrated care helps outpatient palliative programs succeed
    Integrated care enables outpatient palliative care programs to succeed so they can ensure patients smoothly transition from hospital to community care or hospice, North Carolina researchers said. The report in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, which analyzed the outpatient palliative care program at Four Seasons in Flat Rock, N.C., found challenges for these programs included quality of care, referrals, caregiver inexperience, limited physician resources, compliance and administration. MedWire News (U.K.) (1/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Palliative & Hospice Care Update  
  • E-mail alerts remind docs to have end-of-life talks with patients
    E-mail reminders could prompt oncologists to have end-of-life conversations with patients who are terminally ill, according to a study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. The study, which involved 100 patients with an advanced stage of lung cancer, found that one year after a system was launched to send e-mail alerts to doctors, more than one-third of the subjects had their end-of-life wishes noted in their EHRs, compared with 15% of patients whose end-of-life wishes were recorded before the e-mail program began. Reuters (1/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Rapid response teams appear to facilitate end-of-life care talks
    A study showed multidisciplinary rapid response teams led by intensivists reduced cardiopulmonary arrests and mortality and provided better end-of-life care when they followed patients until they were clinically stable or after discharge if transferred to an ICU. The teams also led to an increase in do-not-resuscitate orders, suggesting they facilitated end-of-life care discussions. MedWire News (U.K.) (1/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Patient & Family Perspective  
  • Website helps simplify end-of-life care discussions
    The website Prepare contains information written in simple terms and videos to help a wide audience of people embark upon the process of having end-of-life care discussions with family. Susan Tolle of the Center for Ethics in Health Care at Oregon Health & Science University says advance care planning is a process and research shows decision-makers who participate in discussions are less stressed about making care decisions. USA Today (1/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Medical Research  
  • Sweetened drinks may raise depression risk, study finds
    Older adults who consumed at least four servings of artificially sweetened soda, fruit punch or iced tea every day had a higher risk of being diagnosed with depression in the next decade, according to a study of more than 260,000 adults ages 50 to 71 in the U.S. Regular sugar-sweetened soda drinkers also had an increased depression risk, but the link was weaker than the one between artificially sweetened drinks and depression. The study will be presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology. HealthDay News (1/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Beta blockers may reduce Alzheimer's risk, study finds
    Blood pressure-lowering beta blockers could cut the risk of brain changes associated with Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia, according to a study to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in March. "Levels of the Alzheimer lesions were about half or less in persons receiving beta blockers, compared with persons whose hypertension was untreated," researcher Dr. Lon White said. Beta blockers seemed to lower risk of the lesions better than other blood pressure drugs. HealthDay News (1/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Health Policy & Practice  
  • Consumer Reports: Alzheimer's drugs are costly, ineffective
    Drugs approved to treat Alzheimer's disease are expensive and are not really effective for many patients, according to Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs. The report said none of the drugs could be considered a "Best Buy," based on analyses from several health care organizations, and that they had side effects that could be debilitating for older patients. The Washington Post/Consumers Union (1/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Trends & Technology  
  • Report finds continued decline of cancer deaths in U.S.
    Cancer mortality rates among men, women and children dropped every year from 2000 to 2009, continuing the downward trend that started in the 1990s, a report in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute showed. New cancer diagnoses dropped in men and remained unchanged in women, but pediatric cancer diagnoses rose by 0.6% during the study period. WebMD (1/7), HealthDay News (1/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  AAHPM News  
  • Are you a DO practicing in hospice and palliative medicine?
    The grandfathering period is closing! 2013 is the last year for osteopathic physicians to apply to sit for the Hospice and Palliative Medicine Certificate of Added Qualification (CAQ) exam based on experience. The exam is Sept. 29 in Las Vegas. Apply now! LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Looking for a foundational resource in hospice and palliative care?
    This ever-popular, comprehensive study program provides a critical foundation for health care providers who want to incorporate the principles of hospice and palliative medicine into their daily practice. The UNIPAC, 4th edition, is a 9-volume set that has been thoroughly reviewed and updated by experts in the field to include the latest evidence and best practices. New to this edition is the online amplifire™ module. Visit to purchase your copy. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Editor's Note 
If you want to test your memory, try to recall what you were worrying about one year ago today."
--E. Joseph Cossman,
American entrepreneur and inventor

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