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March 21, 2012
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News for physicians caring for the seriously ill

  Top Story 
  • We are first generation to have say in how we die, physician says
    This is the first generation of Americans who will likely have a say in how they die, says Dr. Dan Morhaim, adjunct professor of health policy at Johns Hopkins and author of "The Better End: Surviving & Dying On Your Own Terms in Today's Modern Medical World." Morhaim, during a Minnesota Public Radio radio interview, said people know discussing end-of-life care and advanced directives is essential despite "significant culture taboo and a lot of barriers." Minnesota Public Radio (3/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Palliative & Hospice Care Update  
  • Byock discusses end-of-life decisions and society
    Health care has become so good at treating disease that people live longer and "we've really invented chronic illness," Dr. Ira Byock said in an interview with the Missoulian. The author of "The Best Care Possible: A Physician's Quest to Transform Care Through the End of Life" said society has yet to figure out how to help people die well. Byock helped begin the Missoula Demonstration Project in the 1990s to encourage people to create advance directives. Missoulian (Missoula, Mont.) (3/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Patient & Family Perspective  
  • Kensington Hospice helps patients achieve a quality death
    Judith van Bastelaar said when it became a matter of quality of life over quantity she worked to get her husband transferred from a hospital to the new Kensington Hospice in Toronto, where he came "to die and he was successful." The Kensington residential hospice model, which focuses on a quality death, goes beyond the patient, however, as the family of Andree Hoffman found out when staff fixed them breakfast. The Globe and Mail (Toronto) (3/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Medical Research  
  • Alzheimer's disease patients may not benefit from antioxidants
    Patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease who regularly took vitamins C and E had faster declines in cognition and memory scores than groups who took coenzyme Q or placebos, a study found. However, spinal fluid markers of central nervous system damage dropped a little during the four-month period for the vitamin C and E group, researchers reported in the Archives of Neurology. No other differences were seen after 16 weeks. Reuters (3/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Health Policy & Practice  
  • CMS announces program to help curb unneeded admissions
    The CMS has introduced the Initiative to Reduce Avoidable Hospitalizations, meant to curb unnecessary hospitalizations and bolster health care among long-term care facilities. The $128 million program will aid more than 126 hospitals and more than 223,000 Medicare patients in 19 states, the agency stated. Healthcare Finance News (3/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • GOP budget proposal would overhaul Medicare
    The Republicans' proposed 2013 budget includes as a cost-saving initiative an overhaul of Medicare that would let Americans buy a competing, government-approved insurance plan with premium support. The plan is a modification from an earlier proposal to give seniors vouchers to buy private insurance. Reuters (3/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Trends & Technology  
  • 5 issues tied to the slow evolution of EHRs
    Technological advances and federal meaningful use incentives have spurred widespread use of EHRs, but functionality has not varied for the systems since 1982. A Booz Allen Hamilton survey for the California HealthCare Foundation identified five reasons why, starting with the fact that EHRs were initially designed to guarantee payment and pointing to four future trends surrounding the technology. Government Health IT online (3/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Society & Ethics  
  • Report: More dementia patients live alone, many without caregivers
    An Alzheimer's Association report says the number of people with dementia who live alone in the U.S. is increasing, and one-half of them do not have a specific caregiver. Financial issues prevent some dementia patients from entering assisted living or hiring in-home caregivers. Dale Masters of the senior referral service called A Place for Mom says some people do not remember to eat properly and take their medications. The Sacramento Bee (Calif.) (free registration) (3/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  AAHPM News  
  • Register now for the AAHPM Intensive Board Review Course
    July 12-14 at the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville. This course will feature content as outlined in the HPM Certification Examination Blueprint, key leaders in the field serving as faculty, and fast paced didactic presentations that focus on salient points followed by panel discussions. Learn more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Submit an abstract for the 2013 AAHPM & HPNA Annual Assembly
    Are you interested in presenting at the 2013 AAHPM & HPNA Annual Assembly in New Orleans? AAHPM's call for workshop, concurrent and SIG Symposia abstracts is now open. Learn more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
It is useless for the sheep to pass resolutions in favor of vegetarianism while the wolf remains of a different opinion."
--William Ralph Inge,
British author, priest and educator

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