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January 23, 2013
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News for physicians caring for the seriously ill

  Top Story 
  • Byock: America ready to "take back" the final chapter of life
    Oregon has made leading-edge progress in some areas of hospice and palliative care, but challenges remain in the U.S. because many patients who want to die at home cannot do so, palliative care expert Dr. Ira Byock says in this interview. American society has matured, and baby boomers are "poised to take back this last chapter of human life," but to do so requires building "wholesome, well-supported off ramps." The Oregonian (Portland) (1/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
 
  Palliative & Hospice Care Update  
  • Physician says hospice must change so it can move forward
    More patients are getting hospice care, but restrictions against curative treatment must be eliminated so people can be enrolled and receive the benefits -- including palliative care -- sooner, Dr. Carolyn McClanahan writes in Forbes. She says the payment system for physicians and other caregivers needs fixing, and Medicare's six-month life expectancy rule for hospice enrollment should be eliminated. Forbes (1/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Experts question whether hospices restrict enrollment
    A recent study suggested hospice enrollment policies may exclude patients who need special services, but experts question the extent to which that really happens. Diane Meier of the Center to Advance Palliative Care in New York says big hospices with 100 or more patients have economies of scale that help them afford special care, and families can shop around for a facility that matches their needs. The Washington Post (1/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Study tracks use of palliative radiation
    A study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology said 50% of patients with metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer get at least one palliative radiation treatment and a substantial number get more treatments and higher dosages than evidence supports. Dana-Farber Cancer Institute researchers said patients who were younger when diagnosed and those who had chemotherapy and surgery were more likely to get palliative radiation. PhysiciansBriefing.com (1/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Patient & Family Perspective  
  • Memoir author copes with her mom's dementia through cooking
    New York Times Magazine writer Alex Witchel writes about caring for her mother, who had dementia, with a blend of history, advice and recipes in the memoir "All Gone: A Memoir of My Mother's Dementia. With Refreshments." Witchel chronicles watching her mother, who was a college professor, slowly lose her cognitive abilities due to stroke-related dementia, and Witchel says she coped by cooking her mother's recipes. Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) (1/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Medical Research  
  • Hearing loss associated with cognitive decline in study of seniors
    Baseline hearing loss among older adults was linked to 32% to 41% greater cognitive decline annually based on test scores that measured executive and global function, respectively, compared with peers with normal hearing, according to a study to be published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. "Further research is needed to investigate what the mechanistic basis of this observed association is and whether such pathways would be amendable to hearing rehabilitative interventions," researchers wrote. Nurse.com (1/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Health Policy & Practice  
  • Survey: Surgeons, patients discuss post-op life support use
    Surgeons and their patients often agree ahead of time about the use of postoperative life support, according to University of Wisconsin researchers. The study in Critical Care Medicine found 60% of surgeons surveyed said they may refuse to operate on someone who wanted to limit life support after surgery and 62% liked the idea of creating an informal contract with patients that details any limitations for aggressive therapy. MedWire News (U.K.) (1/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • HHS boosts patient protections with HIPAA updates
    HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the release of HIPAA changes to ensure that the privacy and medical data of patients are protected. The HIPAA update allows patients to request an electronic copy of their EHRs and gives them control over the data that can be shared by their doctors. Healthcare Informatics online (1/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Trends & Technology  
  AAHPM News  
  • Thinking of a new career in hospice and palliative medicine?
    Participate in this webinar, sponsored by the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine on Jan. 24 at 2 p.m. Eastern Time and learn some practical strategies for assessing personal and professional needs and goals, preparing to find a job where you can be successful, negotiating salary and benefits, exploring satisfaction indicators, and providing resources for your use. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  SmartQuote  
Lend yourself to others, but give yourself to yourself."
--Michel de Montaigne,
French writer


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