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October 5, 2012
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News for physicians caring for the seriously ill

  Top Story 
  • Initial use of adjuvants is low among cancer patients, study finds
    In a study of more than 200 cancer patients, fewer than one-third initially received an adjuvant medication, although a larger number of people were given one over the following two weeks as they continued to assess their pain, Italian researchers told a European oncology conference. Researcher Dr. Sandro Barni said the study shows cancer patients need to be followed closely and treatments should be adjusted based on pain scales. MedWire News (U.K.) (10/2) 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 on the day-to-day journey facing challenges so often encountered by those who suffer with pain.
  Palliative & Hospice Care Update  
  • Upstream palliative care gets patients involved sooner, expert says
    Dr. Wendy Peltier of the Palliative Care Center in Wisconsin says a new generation of support services, called upstream palliative care, brings patients and family together with specialists earlier. She says palliative care is a team-based discipline and provides back-to-basics care that "tries to be the glue that kind of adds an extra layer of support" for patients, family and medical specialists. WUWM-FM (Milwaukee) (text and audio) (10/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Online tools cover managing opioid use in chronic pain
    Two federal agencies are giving physicians online tools to help them safely prescribe opioid drugs and manage patients with chronic pain. The program, which qualifies for CME credit at least through its first year, is broken into modules, and uses video simulations of physician-patient conversations to teach about the safe use of opioids. Medscape (free registration) (10/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Patient & Family Perspective  
  Medical Research  
  • Daily low-dose aspirin linked to slower cognitive decline
    A study that included almost 700 older women found those who took a daily low-dose aspirin demonstrated less cognitive decline than those who did not follow the regimen, often used to help prevent heart attacks. University of Gothenburg researchers wrote in the journal BMJ Open that the effects were more pronounced the longer the aspirin regimen was followed but that taking the drug did not affect the risk of developing full-blown dementia. A researcher cautioned that the study did not prove a causal link and said more research is needed before any recommendations can be made to women regarding aspirin use for cognitive function. HealthDay News (10/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Health Policy & Practice  
  • Rheumatology group issues new gout guidelines
    The American College of Rheumatology released new guidelines on how to manage and treat gout. The group recommended xanthine oxidase inhibitors, either allopurinol or febuxostat, as first-line therapy to reduce uric acid levels. A uricosuric agent such as probenecid, fenofibrate or losartan can be added if the target serum urate level cannot be achieved with xanthine oxidase inhibitors alone. The guidelines were published in the journal Arthritis Care & Research. MedPage Today (free registration) (9/29), (9/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Report: Up to $800 billion spent annually on unnecessary care
    A group of physicians reported in the journal BMJ that 30,000 Medicare patients die each year because of overly aggressive treatment, while the costs of unneeded interventions may be up to $800 billion a year. The physicians said that changing how doctors are paid can help reduce overtreatment but that efforts to reduce unnecessary care may be seen by the public as rationing. HealthDay News (10/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • 9 in 10 seniors satisfied with Medicare Part D, survey finds
    All but 10% of seniors say they are happy with the Medicare Part D drug benefit, according to a poll by the Healthcare Leadership Council's Medicare Today campaign. The poll found that 84% of recipients say they would have to pay more without the program, and 61% say they could not get all of their medications without it. USA TODAY (10/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Trends & Technology  
  • "Cybersecure" teaches physician practices about HIPAA
    The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT hopes its free Web-based game called "Cybersecure: Your Medical Practice" will help physician office staff better learn HIPAA privacy and security rules. Staff go through different HIPAA scenarios in the game, losing or gaining exam rooms, office equipment and points based on their answers. American Medical News (free content) (10/1) 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
  • Products to help you manage the challenges in the changing hospice environment
    Whether you've recently become a hospice medical director or you’ve had this role for years, these AAHPM products will advance your competence and confidence in the clinical, administrative and regulatory aspects of your work: The Hospice Medical Director Manual, the go-to, easy reference book, and the Hospice Medical Director Course recordings from the 2011 course. Learn more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
The lure of the distant and the difficult is deceptive. The great opportunity is where you are."
--John Burroughs,
American naturalist and essayist

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