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February 8, 2013
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News for physicians caring for the seriously ill

  Top Story 
  • Each part of advanced care planning has benefits, study finds
    A study of Medicare beneficiaries found benefits to each aspect of advanced care planning, and patients who helped plan their care had reduced odds of dying in a hospital and a greater chance of receiving hospice care, according to a report in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, said the study suggests using just one element, such as an advance directive, may not provide the same benefits as a multimodel advance care plan. MedWire News (U.K.) (2/5) 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  
  • Experts connect higher hospice, ICU rates in end-of-life care
    Dartmouth end-of-life care expert Dr. John Wennberg said a study in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association that shows both higher hospice and ICU usage at the end of life is not surprising because the nation's capacity to provide both hospice care and acute care is growing. Study co-author Dr. Julie Bynum of Dartmouth's Geisel School of Medicine commented that even though medicine almost always offers one more treatment to try, physicians should begin talking with patients about end-of-life care "well before the final crisis begins." Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (2/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • 22% of nursing home residents get antipsychotics, data show
    A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that 22% of a sample group of more than 1 million nursing home residents got antipsychotic medication at least once, generally for off-label indications. Researchers at the University of Massachusetts in Worcester found geographic variation in the prescribing trends, which "suggests the absence of an evidence-based approach." MedPage Today (free registration) (2/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Patient & Family Perspective  
  • Molly Project makes photography a resource for women
    The Molly Project in Syracuse, N.Y., gives women who are seriously ill or who are caregivers free photography sessions as a source of comfort and memories for themselves and their families. "For a few hours they forgot that they were sick," said Tara Polcaro, a photographer who started the nonprofit along with two friends. WSYR-TV (Syracuse, N.Y.) (2/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Medical Research  
  Health Policy & Practice  
  • AAHPM opposes opioid labeling petition at FDA hearing
    The American Association of Hospice and Palliative Medicine was among the groups represented at an FDA hearing on a petition on the labeling of opioid drugs. AAHPM and other groups said the proposal could block access to opioid drugs for patients with legitimate pain and that there are challenges in implementing rules that seek to distinguish cancer pain and noncancer pain due to the long-term complications of the disease. MedPage Today (free registration) (2/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Trends & Technology  
  • CMS to gather data from long-term-care patients
    A new records system will be created by CMS to gather care quality measure data for long-term-care patients. "The quality measure data is required to be valid, meaningful, and feasible to collect, and to address symptom management, patient preferences and avoidable adverse events," according to the agency. Healthcare IT News (2/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  AAHPM News  
  • What's your level of knowledge of hospice and palliative medicine?
    Test it with HPM PASS, an online practice test designed to help you assess your understanding of hospice and palliative medicine. It includes 150 test questions to evaluate your knowledge and uncover areas where additional review may be helpful. Learn more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Looking for an introductory book on hospice and palliative care?
    The Primer of Palliative Care 5th edition is the essential introductory text for medical students, residents, practicing physicians and others who care for patients with serious or life-threatening illnesses. New to this edition is a companion Workbook for users to apply the knowledge gained and for instructors to track progress. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
After you've done a thing the same way for two years, look it over carefully. After five years, look at it with suspicion. And after ten years, throw it away and start all over."
--Alfred E. Perlman,
American businessman

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