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January 25, 2013
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News for physicians caring for the seriously ill

  Top Story 
  • La. will continue to provide Medicaid hospice care
    Louisiana reversed plans to end the state's Medicaid hospice program and will continue to provide end-of-life care to beneficiaries, officials said. Grant money will pay for services through June, when changes to the program are expected to reduce the number of people eligible for services, focus on in-home care rather than hospital-based hospice care, and reduce reimbursements for hospice providers. The Times-Picayune (New Orleans) (1/23), The Washington Post (1/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Palliative & Hospice Care Update  
  • N.Y. hospital group develops palliative care bundle
    Members of the Greater New York Hospital Association have created a palliative care bundle that includes a tool for identifying patients, steps for creating a patient plan, and post-discharge strategies for patient care and family caregivers. The association's project manager Sara Kaplan-Levenson said the group is waiting for hospitals to report back on how effective the bundle is before determining its next step. Hospitals & Health Networks Magazine (1/2013) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Physician supports abuse screening despite USPSTF report
    The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force's new standards for screening older patients for abuse or neglect say more evidence is needed to weigh the benefits vs. harms of the intervention. Dr. Mike Steinman, an associate professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, writes in this Geri-Pal post that physicians should not interpret that to mean they should stop screening these patients. GeriPal blog (1/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Patient & Family Perspective  
  • Mass. begins some palliative, hospice care initiatives
    Massachusetts has been slow to implement an expert panel's recommendations that would increase the number of patients who receive hospice and palliative care, but new initiatives are gaining traction. A law approved last year requires hospitals, nursing homes and other facilities to distribute information on the availability of palliative and hospice care, and a state education campaign about medical orders for life-sustaining treatment has begun in about 169 hospitals and other care facilities. Dr. Lachlan Forrow, the leader of the panel, said he was "baffled" that more progress hasn't been made. The Boston Globe (tiered subscription model) (1/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Medical Research  
  Health Policy & Practice  
  • Filling out death certificates presents challenge for doctors
    Physicians should provide as much specific information as possible when filling out patient death certificates, but it is not always a straightforward process and doctors may get little training, coroners said. Dr. Drew Rosielle, director of the Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship at the University of Minnesota Medical School, said doctors get death certificates back if there are errors or omissions and "a lot of physicians learn by having them rejected by the medical examiner." American Medical News (free content) (1/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • AMA commends reintroduction of bill to repeal IPAB
    The American Medical Association, which has fought the implementation of the Independent Payment Advisory Board, lauded the reintroduction of a bill to repeal the Medicare payments panel. AMA president Jeremy Lazarus said the IPAB "would have too little accountability and the power to make indiscriminate cuts that adversely affect access to health care for patients." The Hill/Healthwatch blog (1/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Trends & Technology  
  • Ad-based EHRs save doctors money but raise practice concerns
    Advertising linked to electronic health records could help small physician practices afford to implement EHR systems but there are questions about whether advertising exerts undue influence on prescribing patterns, expert said. Patient privacy also is a concern due to possible mining of patient information for advertising purposes. EHR Intelligence (1/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  AAHPM News  
  • Joint Commission releases Speak Up™
    Patients and the families of patients living with a serious illness may find help dealing with their emotional, physical and spiritual concerns by turning to palliative care, according to The Joint Commission's new educational campaign "Speak Up™: What you need to know about your serious illness and palliative care," which covers how and when to get palliative care, questions that palliative caregivers may ask, questions to ask palliative care providers, where to find information, and more. Free downloadable files of all Speak Up videos, brochures and posters (including Spanish language versions of the brochures) are available here. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
In youth we learn; in age we understand."
--Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach,
Austrian writer

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