July 30, 2021
Hospice and Palliative Medicine SmartBrief
News for physicians caring for the seriously illSIGN UP ⋅   SHARE
Top Story
Jim Kelly, By the Bay Health's new chief financial officer, says upcoming challenges include adapting to the Medicare Advantage hospice carve-in payment model and staff recruitment. By the Bay Hospice changed its name to By the Bay Health this year to highlight its expanding scope of services, and Kelly said developing home health and palliative care services can lead to hospice referrals.
Full Story: Hospice News (7/28) 
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Palliative & Hospice Care Update
An individually tailored program focused on problem-solving and independence called Care of Persons with Dementia in Their Environments is equally effective when delivered by telehealth or in person, according to a study published last year in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. Study leader Kate Laver says it's important to provide a tablet computer and stand, an illustrated user guide and on-site training and assessments, and to have an IT support person on call.
Full Story: MDedge (7/27) 
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Patients who had a stroke had greater decreases in cognitive and daily functions for up to a decade prior to the event, compared with those who never had a stroke, researchers reported in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry. Researchers said women, patients who were APOE e4 carriers and those with lower levels of education were more vulnerable to declines in cognitive and daily functions.
Full Story: Healio (free registration) (7/21) 
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The CDC's opioid prescribing guideline for chronic pain were intended to improve patient outcomes and reduce public health risks, but the guideline affected pain management in oncology and palliative care, Roger Chriss writes. "Patients and providers are hopeful the upcoming revision of the guideline will address these outcomes and improve pain care," Chriss writes.
Full Story: Pain News Network (7/26) 
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Medical Research
Outpatient statin use was associated with a reduced risk of death for patients hospitalized with COVID-19, according to a study in PLOS ONE. "We found that not only are statins and antihypertensive medications safe -- they may very well be protective in patients hospitalized for COVID, especially among those with a history of hypertension or cardiovascular disease," said Dr. Lori Daniels, a study author.
Full Story: Clinical Advisor/HealthDay News (7/22) 
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According to a study in Circulation, 38% of new heart failure diagnoses occurred in the acute care setting, while 46% of those diagnosed had symptoms in the outpatient setting. "This national study raises concerns that many heart failure diagnoses are missed in the outpatient setting and exposes important differences in which patients' diagnoses are missed," the researchers wrote.
Full Story: HealthDay News (7/27) 
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Health Policy & Practice
Signify Health is rolling out its Transition to Home program in over 50 hospitals to provide evidence-based clinical and social care coordination services to Medicare beneficiaries to help them transition from hospital to home. The program, which currently supports patients in 10 states, provides services such as risk stratification, social needs and behavior health assessment, and medication review delivered by an interdisciplinary team of clinical and social care coordinators, physicians, nurses and pharmacists, who also coordinate care with the beneficiary's primary care provider.
Full Story: Healthcare Finance (7/22) 
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Arkansas and Oklahoma have seen a 60% increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations in the past two weeks, and children's hospitals in the states say more pediatric patients are becoming critically ill. Seeing that children are becoming more vulnerable is "a lot worrisome," said Dr. Stephanie DeLeon, a pediatrician at Oklahoma Children's Hospital in Oklahoma City.
Full Story: Becker's Hospital Review (7/28) 
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More than 400 health care and technology groups signed a letter urging Congress to act now to make expanded telehealth coverage permanent and eliminate what they say are arbitrary location restrictions before the public health emergency ends. "Without action from Congress, Medicare beneficiaries will abruptly lose access to nearly all recently expanded coverage of telehealth when the COVID-19 PHE ends," the groups wrote.
Full Story: Healthcare IT News (7/27) 
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Trends & Technology
The American Medical Association, the Society of Interventional Radiology and more than 50 other health care organizations are asking for a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all US health care workers in an effort to bolster vaccination levels and reduce spread of the Delta variant. "This is the logical fulfillment of the ethical commitment of all health care workers to put patients as well as residents of long-term care facilities first and take all steps necessary to ensure their health and well-being," the groups said in a statement.
Full Story: Radiology Business (7/26),  The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (7/26),  The Hill (7/26) 
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AAHPM will be hosting a FREE virtual career fair for all interested in the hospice and palliative care field. The Job Fair will take place Thursday, August 19 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. ET. Attendees can access the fair at any time during these hours. For job seekers, brush up your resume and prepare to connect with employers with open positions. Attendees of the career fair can navigate to employer booths to learn about the companies, search and read about open positions, and schedule time to chat live with recruiters. Register now.
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This manual has become an invaluable resource for physicians looking for the tools and knowledge to be successful as a hospice physician. The 3rd edition defines best practices, offers tools and sample documents, and provides answers about physician's roles. Learn more.
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It is a time in which we will redefine what it means to be human, for this is not just the start of a revolution, it is the start of an evolution.
David A. Sinclair,
biologist, professor of genetics
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