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Caring for the Ages
December 1, 2018

Dear Dr. Jeff:

Caring for the Ages
December 1, 2018

I’m dedicating this column to my frail geriatric canine, Tessa. I’ve taken dogs on nursing home rounds with me now for almost 25 years, and it never gets old. The joy they bring to my residents is palpable and undeniable, and it brightens up my day, too. Yes, it slows me down some because there are lots of informal visits and the unplanned detours between patients when someone shouts, “Oh, a dog!” from their room. Luckily, I am usually not in a rush, and I figure I am collecting some sort of karmic currency for sharing the pooches with others who really appreciate them.

Caring for the Ages
December 1, 2018

Improving treatments is always one of the key goals for practitioners who work with the older adult population, but the list of new medications released into the market each year can be overwhelming to delve through, especially for the specialty areas. Of all the new medications from 2018, these five drugs that entered the market have the potential to impact prescribing practices and change the way the older adult population is managed.

Caring for the Ages
December 1, 2018

Society’s attitudes towards pets are changing. We’ve gone from keeping pets outside to putting them in our beds. We are more pet-friendly than ever, but our institutions haven’t caught up,” said Steve Feldman, executive director of the Human Animal Bond Research Institute. HABRI has partnered with the National Council on Aging’s National Institute of Senior Centers to develop a new pet-friendly handbook, Older Adults and Animal Programing (http://bit.ly/2FQLj0C). The guide highlights the scientific research behind human–animal interactions with older...

Health Policy
November 30, 2018

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced upcoming efforts to support better care and outcomes for nursing home residents under the Civil Money Penalty Reinvestment Program (CMPRP). This three-year initiative aims to improve residents’ quality of life by equipping nursing home staff, administrators, and stakeholders with technical tools and assistance to enhance resident care.

As part of the CMPRP, CMS will develop a variety of work products for nursing home professionals such as staff competency assessment tools, instructional guides, training...

Health Policy
November 30, 2018

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a draft strategy designed to help reduce administrative and regulatory burden on clinicians caused by the use of health information technology (health IT) such as electronic health records (EHRs).

Strategy on Reducing Regulatory and Administrative Burden Relating to the Use of Health IT and EHRs was led by the HHS Office of the National Coordinator...

Health Policy
November 30, 2018

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) understands that if you’re a clinician living or practicing in an area affected by Hurricane Florence and/or Hurricane Michael, you may experience difficulties collecting and submitting data for the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) on time during the 2018 MIPS performance period. Most recently, for those affected by Hurricane Florence,...

Health Policy
November 30, 2018

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC HIT) recently released data on electronic health record (EHR) adoption among skilled nursing facilities (SNF) and home health agencies (HHA) for 2017.

Some highlights from the report include:

  • More HHAs (78%) adopted EHRs than SNFs (66%) in 2017
  • The ability to integrate patient health information received from outside facilities lagged behind for both HHAs (36%) and SNFs (18%) compared to these facilities’ engagement in other domains of interoperability
  • HHAs (32%) and
  • ...
Weekly Roundup
November 30, 2018

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Post-acute and long-term care (PALTC) facilities increasingly are seeing patients with opioid addiction and other substance use disorders. Some are older adults—more like the traditional PALTC patients—and some are younger patients with various clinical needs and comorbidities. Yet, all share a need for focused...

JAMDA
November 28, 2018

A high anticholinergic burden (AB) is associated with the occurrence of behavioral and psychological symptoms (BPSDs), which are frequent in dementia.