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March 15, 2013
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News for physicians caring for the seriously ill

  Top Story 
  • Planning improves end-of-life decisions for teens with cancer
    Family-focused advanced care counseling improved agreement between teens with cancer and their families on end-of-life decisions, according to a study in the journal JAMA Pediatrics. Teens who received counseling gained greater knowledge about end-of-life decisions than the standard care group, and their families were more likely to support their wishes for limited treatment. News (3/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Inform and Empower
Take action TODAY with a pain advocacy resource that provides inspiration, pain related news, downloadable materials and tools to inform and empower people with pain, health care professionals, caregivers and other concerned individuals. Visit and download the Handbook for People with Pain: a Resource Guide, 3rd edition, a resource to help you or a loved one on the day-to-day journey, facing challenges so often encountered by those who suffer with pain.
  Palliative & Hospice Care Update  
  • Researchers call for specific definition of palliative care patient
    A survey of eight primary care physicians in the U.K. showed they found it difficult to define a palliative care patient and followed no set criteria for including patients on the palliative care registry. The physicians agreed that palliative care is appropriate for end-stage, non-cancer patients, who have needs similar to cancer patients. "While palliative care as a specialty is globally recognized, a specific definition of the palliative care patient remains one of conjecture," the study authors wrote in the journal BMJ: Supportive and Palliative Care. MedWire News (U.K.) (3/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Patient & Family Perspective  
  • Palliative care expands as patients learn what it offers
    More health systems are adding palliative care services as terminally and seriously ill patients gain a better understanding of the programs and how they differ from hospice. Gloria Romaine did not want hospice because she wanted to continue aggressive treatment for her advanced cancer, so she went into a palliative care program that helps her manage pain. "You have friends and family, you have prayers, you have modern medicine, and thank God, I have palliative care," she said. San Francisco Chronicle (3/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Advocates for Alzheimer's patients rally at Utah Capitol
    Advocates rallied at the Utah Capitol in support of a state plan to address Alzheimer's disease and legislation to regulate training and establish minimum standards for clinicians who treat Alzheimer's patients. Lawmakers in 2011 adopted Utah's State Plan for Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias to invest in quality care for patients, expand research and improve caregivers' access to resources. "If the state plan is not supported, the medical needs of Alzheimer's patients alone will bankrupt the system," said hospice administrator Kimberly Ware. The Deseret News (Salt Lake City) (3/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Medical Research  
  • Researchers urge review of narcotics for osteoarthritis pain
    Researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine called for a review of the use of narcotic medications for patients with osteoarthritis. Their report in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found prescriptions for NSAIDs declined among a study population with osteoarthritis while prescriptions for narcotic medications increased from 2001 to 2004, followed by an increase in falls and fractures. MedWire News (U.K.) (3/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Health Policy & Practice  
  • Study: Cancer survival rates not linked to Medicare spending
    Medicare data show average spending on patients with advanced lung, colorectal, pancreas, breast and prostate cancers varied by up to 41% across U.S. regions but had no direct effect on survival, researchers reported in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The study should be analyzed to see whether patients had access to palliative and hospice care, said American Cancer Society Vice President Elizabeth Ward. "Palliative care can apply throughout the entire course of the disease," Ward said. "When patients have reached the point when the physicians say that there is no treatment available, then there is a range of options for them." HealthDay News (3/12), Medscape (free registration) (3/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Trends & Technology  
  • Agencies ask for feedback on broader data sharing
    The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT and CMS are requesting feedback on ways to engage more providers and patients in health information exchange. The notice appears in the Federal Register. The notice cited a lack of technology at such facilities as long-term care, rehabilitation and psychiatric facilities, in particular. Modern Healthcare (subscription required) (3/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  AAHPM News  
  • Opioid REMS and Safe Use Practices: What Are the Implications Today?
    Learn about risk evaluation and mitigation strategies associated with long-acting and extended-release opioids. This online activity, developed by CO*RE, in partnership with Medscape, offers CME/CE credit for learners. No fee required. Learn more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Interested in assessing your level of knowledge in psychiatry and cognition?
    HPM FAST, 2nd edition, is an online practice test with 25 questions to test your knowledge of psychiatry and cognition. It includes explanations and up-to-date reference to provide guidance for further study on mental illness, delirium, and decision-making ability. Learn more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Any party which takes credit for the rain must not be surprised if its opponents blame it for the drought."
--Dwight Morrow,
American businessman, politician and diplomat

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