April 21, 2021
Hospice and Palliative Medicine SmartBrief
News for physicians caring for the seriously illSIGN UP ⋅   SHARE
Top Story
A study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine found that using the surprise question, "Would you be surprised if this patient died within the next year (or 30 days)?" when treating patients with COPD helped predict one-year mortality and encourage advance care planning. "Increasing ACP in this population will help to ensure that patients with COPD receive care aligned with their preferences," researcher Dr. Rebecca Hutchinson says.
Full Story: Physician's Weekly (4/19) 
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Take your next step in telemental health
Purdue University's online Telemental Health Counseling Graduate Certificate is designed for healthcare professionals to enhance their skills to deliver virtual services effectively and ethically. Applications are now being accepted. Learn more.
Palliative & Hospice Care Update
Ten best practice advice statements for palliative care management in patients with cirrhosis have been released by the American Gastroenterological Association. According to a review in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, broadened use of palliative care is needed for patients with cirrhosis, as rates of advance care planning and directives are low, symptom management needs to be improved, and earlier hospice and palliative care referrals are needed.
Full Story: Healio (free registration) (4/19) 
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Patients with a history of COVID-19 and lingering symptoms with significant needs, or COVID-19 long-haulers, could benefit from palliative care. Palliative care organizations and advocates are pushing for insurance coverage of home palliative care services for the seriously ill and are in talks with the Biden administration to create new benefits.
Full Story: The Pew Charitable Trusts (4/20) 
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Hospice centers need more resources for bereavement care to meet the rise in demand because of the COVID-19 pandemic. "The pandemic creates a strain on the ability to meet the demand for these services, particularly for families who had a loved one die from COVID without the support of hospice," said Edo Banach, president and CEO of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.
Full Story: Hospice News (4/12) 
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Dr. Lauren Jodi Van Scoy, the director of the Project Talk Communication Lab in Pennsylvania is working to help with advance care planning in underserved communities. Van Scoy said the project looks at African American and Hispanic populations, as well as rural populations with health inequities.
Full Story: Hospice News (4/15) 
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Strategies and solutions for clinicians
and health care leaders

The pandemic, a summer of protests against injustice, an increasing focus on social determinants of health and the adoption of value-based care have made addressing health inequity an imperative. Join SmartBrief and a panel of experts from across health care for a virtual roundtable discussion of health equity challenges and solutions.
Patient & Family Perspective
Rabbi Jeffrey Lipschultz of Madrona Hospice & Palliative Care in Scottsdale, Ariz., writes about how vaccination and protecting the community are part of Jewish values and a "great mitzvah." "The second shot I received meant more than just hope for me to return to the normalcy of my job. It was a chance for the community to have a collective hug that we so badly need," Lipschultz writes.
Full Story: Jewish News (Scottsdale, Ariz.) (4/13) 
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Medical Research
A survey by Mount Sinai Visiting Doctors found more than 80% of the 873 homebound patients who had telehealth visits required the assistance of a family member or paid caregiver to complete the visit. The study, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, found almost one-third of older patients had trouble interacting with physicians during telehealth visits due to cognitive or sensory problems.
Full Story: McKnight's Senior Living online (4/19) 
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A study in the European Heart Journal, based on data from 8,001 adults in the Netherlands, showed that people with disrupted sleep patterns such as unconscious wakefulness may have a higher risk of all-cause mortality and cardiovascular-related mortality, with women affected to a greater degree than men. Researchers said sleep arousal burden could be an important marker to help clinicians assess mortality risk, but further study is needed.
Full Story: The American Journal of Managed Care online (4/19),  Yahoo (4/19) 
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Health Policy & Practice
The US will allocate $1.7 billion from the latest COVID-19 relief package to the CDC, state health departments and six university-affiliated centers of excellence as well as to set up a national system to detect, monitor, analyze and share data on emerging disease threats, including coronavirus mutations. "In order for us to even have the possibility of getting back to normal by the fall we need to massively scale up our genomic surveillance," said FasterCures Executive Director Esther Krofah, adding that the national pathogen surveillance network is "not just for COVID, but going forward for other pathogens of concern."
Full Story: The Associated Press (4/16) 
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AAHPM's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee is proud to launch its inaugural educational resources on DEI. Review and share this content with your team and community members so we can continue to learn and grow. View the resources.
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This week, we are celebrating you! We at AAHPM wanted to express our true gratitude for your dedication and commitment to advancing the field of hospice and palliative medicine. Whether you volunteer with AAHPM or within the field, we thank you for your time, care and support you provide to patients and their families.
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