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

  Top Story 
  • Why more training is needed in basic palliative care
    All health care practitioners need basic palliative skills for use in routine practice, American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine President Dr. Timothy Quill and Dr. Amy Abernethy write in the New England Journal of Medicine. Demand for palliative care is increasing and there will not be enough palliative specialists, so they propose a model that distinguishes primary palliative care from specialist palliative care for complex cases. "There needs to be additional training to bring the basic level up to standard," Quill said. Medscape (free registration) (3/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Palliative & Hospice Care Update  
  • Hospice services lower rates of hospital, ICU admissions
    Hospice patients had lower rates of hospital and ICU usage, readmissions, and in-hospital mortality compared with those who did not have the end-of-life care, according to Medicare data that showed savings were achieved across multiple lengths of stay in the program. Researchers reported in Health Affairs that if 1,000 more Medicare patients enrolled in hospice from 15 to 30 days before they died, Medicare could save more than $6.4 million. The Paramus Post (N.J.) (3/6), GeriPal blog (3/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • U.K. doctors support Liverpool pathway for end-of-life care
    In a survey of more than 600 U.K. physicians, 87% had used the multidisciplinary Liverpool care pathway, and 90% would want it for themselves. The report in the British Medical Journal found physicians, especially palliative care doctors, said negative media reports have reduced usage of the pathway. MedWire News (U.K.) (3/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Patient & Family Perspective  
  • Listening is a big part of the job for hospice volunteer
    Helping hospice patients attracts volunteers on emotional and intellectual levels, Pennsylvania hospice volunteer coordinator Cris Bagby says. One of the most important roles they can play is that of listener. "It is such an extraordinary honor to be asked by a patient or family member to be a part of their process. ... To me, volunteering is a sacred experience," she said. The Patriot-News (Harrisburg, Pa.) (3/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Medical Research  
  • Insomnia is linked to heart failure risk in large study
    Researchers looked at data on more than 54,000 people in Norway and found that those with more than one insomnia symptom were three times as likely to develop heart failure as those with no symptoms. When anxiety and depression were accounted for, the risk was even greater. The findings were published online in the European Heart Journal. HealthDay News (3/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Health Policy & Practice  
  • Hospitals prescribe anger management for misbehaving doctors
    Some hospitals are taking steps such as mandating anger management classes to address disruptive behavior by doctors. Up to 5% of doctors can exhibit inappropriate displays of anger, experts say, and this article cites a surgeon who injured a technician by slamming down a malfunctioning piece of equipment. Regulations adopted in 2009 require hospitals to have policies addressing disruptive behavior. Kaiser Health News/The Washington Post (3/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Trends & Technology  
  • EHRs costly if practices do not adjust, study finds
    Physician practices lose money when they adopt EHRs but do not change the way they work to take advantage of the systems, a study in Health Affairs found. "Practices with a positive return on investment realized savings by eliminating paper medical records, as well as dictation and billing services and positions of, or hours worked by, staff members who were performing services no longer required after EHR adoption," the researchers said. Larger practices were more likely to realize gains. MedPage Today (free registration) (3/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  AAHPM News  
  • AAHPM webinar recordings
    Learn specific strategies and cutting edge solutions to your most pressing issues, in only an hour. Topics include: Top Ten Pharmacomistakes at End of Life, Regulatory and Compliance Issues, Methadone: A Love/Hate Relationship in Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Prognostication and many more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Hope is the physician of each misery."
--Irish proverb

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