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Health Policy
March 4, 2016

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Matthews Burwell announced a commitment made by companies that provide 90 percent of nation’s electronic health records (EHRs) used in hospitals and the five largest private health care systems to make EHRs work better for patients and health care providers.
 
The companies and health care systems committed to three principles, including allowing consumers to easily and securely access their electronic health information, helping providers...

Health Policy
March 4, 2016

Medicare Fee-For-Service (FFS) claims with dates-of-service or dates-of-discharge on or after April 1, 2013, will continue to incur a 2 percent reduction in Medicare payment until further notice. Claims for Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS), including claims under the DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Program, will continue to be reduced by 2 percent based upon whether the date-of-service, or the start date for rental equipment or multi-day supplies, is on or after April 1, 2013. The claims payment adjustment will continue to be applied to all claims after...

Health Policy
March 4, 2016

AMDA Board of Directors member, Public Policy Committee Chair, and Caring for the Ages Editor in Chief Karl Steinberg, MD, CMD, was recently appointed to the National Quality Forum’s (NQF’s) Palliative and End-of-Life Care Standing Committee for the Palliative and End-of-Life Endorsement Maintenance Project. The goals of the project are to identify and endorse performance measures for accountability and quality improvement that address palliative and end-of-life care.
Dr. Steinberg’s selection is pending a NQF member and public comment period on the proposed roster. For more details...

JAMDA
March 4, 2016

Advance care planning is the process by which persons can designate, in an advance directive, how intensive they would like their care to be if they become incapacitated and unable to make their own decisions. In the United States, the Patient Self-Determination Act passed in 1990 allows patients to choose or refuse any medical or surgical procedure, make advance directives, and transfer their decision-making authority. As of this year, Medicare has agreed to pay physicians for having end-of-life conversations with their patients and helping them to determine their preferred advance...

Caring for the Ages
March 1, 2016

Join your AMDA friends and colleagues on Saturday, March 19, at 5:45 p.m. in the Convention Center’s Osceola Ballroom A for a free screening of Alive Inside, an award-winning film featuring annual conference closing keynote speaker Dan Cohen, MSW, founder of Music & Memory. This documentary is an exploration of music’s capacity to reawaken souls and uncover the deepest parts of our humanity. It shows Mr. Cohen in action as he demonstrates music’s ability to combat memory loss and restore a deep sense of self to those suffering from it.

Caring for the Ages
March 1, 2016

Much has been written about person- or patient-centered care in health care. Google the words and you’ll get close to 4 million hits. They are the watchwords in virtually every health care venue and setting, including community long-term care. The Institute of Medicine definition is familiar: “Providing care that is respectful of and responsive to individual patient preferences, needs, and values, and ensuring that patient values guide all clinical decisions.”

Caring for the Ages
March 1, 2016

Updated guidelines regarding the treatment of patients with venous thromboembolism advise abandoning the routine use of compression stockings for prevention of postthrombotic syndrome in patients who have had an acute deep vein thrombosis, according to Clive Kearon, PhD, lead author of the American College of Chest Physicians’ 10th edition of “Antithrombotic Therapy for VTE Disease: CHEST Guideline and Expert Panel Report” (Chest 2016;149:315–52).

Caring for the Ages
March 1, 2016

Karl Steinberg, MD, CMD, editor-in-chief of Caring for the Ages, talks about palliative care, what it is, and how it works to improve comfort and quality of life.

Caring for the Ages
March 1, 2016

SAN ANTONIO — Geriatric burn patients have a less than 50% chance of returning home with a Baux score of about 85, and the risk of death begins to climb steadily above a score of 93, approaching 50% at 110 points and almost 100% at 130 points, according to a review of 8,001 elderly patients in the National Burn Repository. The investigators are developing the findings into a decision-making tool to help counsel families and caregivers about their options when elderly loved ones are seriously burned.