Archive for 'Hot Topics'

Alcohol: Enabler of HIV Disease

Posted on 09. Jun, 2010 by .

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A Miami study says HIV-positive heavy drinkers are nearly three times at risk.

Moderate and heavy drinking might accelerate HIV disease development on patients who consume two or more alcoholic drinks every day, says a study in Miami.

The research — published online in the journal AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses — found that of the 231 HIV-positive individuals who were monitored during a 30-month period, 54 percent consumed alcohol. Among this group, 23 (more…)

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RACs Won’t Keep Fees After Losing Appeals

Posted on 02. Jun, 2010 by .

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Plus: You’ll soon be able to review the most common errors that the RACs find.

The feds are attempting to limit the amount of bounty that the so-called RAC “bounty hunters” are able to collect, to the delight of many providers.

(more…)

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Caregivers and Brain Cancer Patients Don’t See Eye-to-Eye

Posted on 02. Jun, 2010 by .

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Do you know what important role caregivers play on rating quality of life?

Compared to other types of cancer, malignant gliomas or primary brain tumor has huge effects on a patient’s personality, language function, and overall functionality. Yet people afflicted with brain cancer assess their well-being more optimistically than their caregivers do, a recent study by the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine has found.

One reason may be because a caregiver knows more about the patient’s clinical state than the patient himself. Another (more…)

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Restrictions to Opioid Drugs, A Legal and Moral Issue

Posted on 26. May, 2010 by .

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Eastern European countries have the most limitations, impeding proper patient care.

A study in Europe cries foul over government regulations restricting access to opioid-based drugs such as morphine. Curbing the availability and access of the painkillers violates a patient’s human rights, reported the authors of the study.

(more…)

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Palliative Sedation in the Eyes of NHPCO

Posted on 19. May, 2010 by .

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The organization draws the line between palliative sedation and many issues, including euthanasia.

Families and health care providers should consider palliative sedation as an option for imminently dying patients with intolerable pain, and unresponsiveness to other interventions, the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) maintains.

(more…)

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County Public Health Office Scores Big on Palliative Care

Posted on 19. May, 2010 by .

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Lung patient was hospital-free for 5 straight weeks.

New York state’s Washington County has launched a new palliative care program that will keep chronically ill patients out of hospitals and in the comforts of their own homes.

Since it’s October start, 21 residents have been accepted into the program. Ann (more…)

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Medicaid RACs Slated To Fire Up This Year

Posted on 12. May, 2010 by .

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Will the new Medicaid bounty hunters duplicate MIC scrutiny?

If you submit claims to Medicaid, get ready for another set of eyes looking over your shoulder.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) calls for every state Medicaid program to contract with at least one Recovery Audit Contractor to review claims. That totals a minimum of 56 Medicaid RACs, points out consultant Tom Boyd with Rohnert Park, Calif.-based Boyd & Nicholas. (more…)

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Palliative Medicine Goes Beyond Physical

Posted on 12. May, 2010 by .

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Clinicians should get involved in taking care of a patient’s spiritual needs.

Each member of a palliative care team should take up roles outside of their niche by looking after a patient’s physical, as well as psychological, social and spiritual needs, a speaker at a recent American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM) Assembly said.

Tim Ford, MA MS CT at VCU Massey Cancer Center, Richmond, VA, introduced the importance of “transdisciplinary” (TD) approach to palliative care, as opposed to the more traditional “interdisciplinary” (ID) approach. In TD, a clinician providing palliative care to a patient functions as a generalist while (more…)

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OASIS C Education: Clearly Indicate Your Patients’ Pain

Posted on 05. May, 2010 by .

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Follow this expert advice to ensure you correctly assess pain.

Just because an item in OASIS C asks about pain doesn’t mean your response should note how much pain your patient experiences. Sometimes, the point is simply whether you’ve asked the right questions.

For completing OASIS C, you should consider pain as “the fifth vital sign,” notes Rebecca Friedman Zuber, a Chicago-based regulatory consultant. A patient’s pain levels throughout treatment are as important as their blood pressure or temperature. (more…)

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Palliative Radiotherapy Scores Low on Dying Cancer Patients

Posted on 28. Apr, 2010 by .

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Physicians often overestimate survival.

Palliative radiotherapy can ease pain for last-stage cancer patients, and help them maintain a good life despite their often slow and agonizing battle with the disease. However, most of the patients do not benefit from getting radiation therapy, a research in Germany revealed.

(more…)

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