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December 26, 2012
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News for physicians caring for the seriously ill

  Top Story 
  • VA medical foster homes offer care option for veterans
    Medical foster homes, which pair veterans with family caregivers, are offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs as an alternative to nursing homes and have helped more than 1,500 people. The VA's Caregiver assessment tool could be useful for palliative care providers, Dr. Paul Tatum of the University of Missouri School of Medicine writes. GeriPal blog (12/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Palliative & Hospice Care Update  
  • Study: Cannabis affects reaction to pain and is "highly variable"
    Cannabis does not reduce pain but does make it more tolerable, according to an Oxford University study reported in the journal Pain. Researcher Dr. Michael Lee said brain scans found little change in areas that code for pain sensation and that cannabis "appears to mainly affect the emotional reaction to pain in a highly variable way." Medical News Today (12/24), BBC (12/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Patient & Family Perspective  
  • Hospice volunteers help patients and families
    Tiffany Day Smith's mother was in HPH Hospice care in Florida for only a few days before she died of cancer but even during that short time staff was able to help her father, who had diabetes. Hospice marketing communications coordinator Carla Hayes credits dedicated volunteers with allowing the hospice to provide so many services to families and caregivers. Hernando Today (Fla.) (12/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Medical Research  
  • Diabetes drug may benefit Alzheimer's patients, study says
    An experimental drug called AC253, which was designed to treat diabetes, could block the effects of amyloid proteins that cause brain cells to die in patients with Alzheimer's disease, Canadian researchers say. The study, reported in The Journal of Neuroscience, showed that when the drug was injected into brain cells of an animal model with Alzheimer's disease, memory function was restored to near-normal levels. United Press International (12/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Hypertension, diabetes linked to risk of cancer recurrence
    Colon cancer patients and survivors who had diabetes or hypertension had an 8% greater risk of cancer recurrence in five years compared with those who did not have either condition, according to a study reported in the journal Cancer. Researchers also noted lower survival in cancer patients with either condition. (12/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Health Policy & Practice  
  • GAO finds overlaps in CMS payment and delivery testing
    A Government Accountability Office report identified three areas of overlap -- reflecting similar goals, activities or target populations -- between 17 health care delivery and payment models being tested by CMS and other CMS initiatives, suggesting duplication of efforts at the agency. "GAO is recommending that the Administrator of CMS direct the Innovation Center to expeditiously complete its process to review and eliminate any areas of unnecessary duplication in contracts that have been awarded in one of its models," the agency said. Medscape (free registration) (12/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Trends & Technology  
  • Mobile app gives patients quick access to hospital safety scores
    Leapfrog Group has introduced its Hospital Safety Score app designed to locate and assign letter grades ranging from A to F to more than 2,600 hospitals. The scores are based on such metrics as infections, preventable medical errors and more. The app features a GPS-supported search to connect users to nearby facilities, a map display, full grade details and a patient guide to hospital safety. Health Data Management (12/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  AAHPM News  
  • Are you up-to-date with the changes in the hospice environment?
    AAHPM has designed products to advance your competence and confidence in the clinical, administrative and regulatory aspects of your work as a hospice medical director. These AAHPM products include 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
  • What do you know of pediatrics, adolescents and developmentally appropriate care?
    HPM FAST, 2nd edition, is an online practice test with 25 questions to test your knowledge of pediatrics. It includes explanations and up-to-date reference to provide guidance for further study on developmentally appropriate care of pediatric and adolescent patients. Learn more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
When one man, for whatever reason, has the opportunity to lead an extraordinary life, he has no right to keep it to himself."
--Jacques Cousteau,
French naval officer and explorer

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