January 21, 2022
Hospice and Palliative Medicine SmartBrief
News for physicians caring for the seriously illSIGN UP ⋅   SHARE
Top Story
The University of Arizona Health Sciences Center on Aging is introducing an end-of-life training program for medical students, developing language to use according to each patient's prognosis. "By starting that conversation, it starts the thinking and the conversation within the family. It allows people to begin to recognize that this is a part of life, that serious illness and death and dying are a part of life," said Dr. Mindy Fain, co-director of the center.
Full Story: SevenPonds Blog (1/15) 
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Palliative & Hospice Care Update
Patients with myeloproliferative neoplasms responded to questionnaires regarding baseline symptom burden and clinical-hematologic response at 12 months in a study in The Lancet Haematology. "Clinicians, researchers, and regulatory agencies should consider symptom burden and quality of life when evaluating treatment efficacy in patients with essential thrombocythaemia and polycythaemia vera," the study team wrote.
Full Story: Oncology Nurse Advisor (1/17) 
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Patient & Family Perspective
People with negative perceptions about the aging of their bodies and minds reported more physical health symptoms on days when they feel stressed, researchers reported in the Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences. People with negative outlooks about aging reported more symptoms on days when their stress levels were higher.
Full Story: HealthDay News (1/18) 
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Attend the Annual Assembly of Hospice and Palliative Care
In 2022, the Annual Assembly will be held both virtually and in-person, February 9-12 in Nashville, TN. Choose how you would like to attend in the way that is most comfortable and available to you! All registered attendees receive access to the virtual platform for 90 days after the meeting concludes to take advantage of additional on-demand education. Learn more about the Annual Assembly and plan to join us!
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Medical Research
Three-month data from an on-label, prospective, multi-center study showed that Medtronic's Differential Target Multiplexed spinal cord stimulation therapy was able to provide patients with meaningful pain relief. "For many, especially those who need or prefer a recharge-free SCS solution, our new DTM SCS endurance therapy offers meaningful clinical benefits by reducing pain, improving quality of life, and offering meaningful device longevity," said Medtronic Vice President and General Manager of Pain Therapies within the Neuromodulation Business Charlie Covert.
Full Story: MassDevice (Boston) (1/14) 
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Researchers have developed a blood test that could help predict a critically ill COVID-19 patient's odds of survival. The test had a 96% accuracy at predicting which patients would survive.
Full Story: The Daily Mirror (UK) (1/19) 
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Health Policy & Practice
Medicare plays a key role in the Biden administration's vision for the CMS to serve as a "trusted partner" committed to increasing access to affordable care and coverage, advancing health equity, and enhancing health outcomes, CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation Director Elizabeth Fowler, and Center for Medicare Director Meena Seshamani wrote in a Health Affairs blog. The CMS plans to help Medicare further these goals by working with provider and health insurance communities including Medicare Advantage plans and accountable care organizations and aligning and coordinating health care payment models in both traditional Medicare and MA programs.
Full Story: Health Affairs (1/11) 
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Key considerations for hospital-at-home programs
Hospital-at-home programs can improve patient outcomes and satisfaction and can mitigate the effects of staff shortages, keep patients out of the hospital, prevent hospital-acquired infections, avoid admissions to skilled nursing facilities, and give care teams important insights into patients' health and lives, writes Solveig Dittman, a risk management and analytics manager with Coverys. Full compliance with CMS requirements, a committed leadership team, a dedicated hospital-at-home care team, strict patient selection criteria, including a stable internet connection, and a thorough social assessment improve the chances of success, Dittman writes.
Full Story: Managed Healthcare Executive (1/15) 
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Trends & Technology
HHS has extended the COVID-19 public health emergency for the eighth time, continuing flexibility and resources granted to health care providers to care for COVID-19 patients, among other benefits, for another 90 days. Meanwhile, sources said the White House plans to unveil today details of its plan to distribute hundreds of millions of N95 masks for free through community sites and pharmacies, as part of efforts to mitigate the surge in COVID-19 cases.
Full Story: Becker's Hospital Review (1/19),  Politico (1/19) 
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AAHPM and HPNA have decided to hold the 2022 Annual Assembly of Hospice and Palliative Care 100% virtually. Registrants of the Annual Assembly will receive access to the interactive platform for 90 days after the Assembly concludes. AnnualAssembly.org provides more information about the fully virtual experience, including top quality education & engaging connection opportunities. Learn more about this meeting and register at the early bird rate by Jan. 24.
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The AAHPM Board has decided to hold the 2022 State of the Science as a virtual experience. This virtual gathering will support and advance the science of hospice and palliative care by fostering community, collaboration, and investigator development. Learn more and be sure to register before the early bird deadline on Jan. 24.
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No human being can possibly predict the future, let alone control it.
Peter Drucker,
management consultant, educator, writer
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