Education Center

Health care-focused resources for seniors and medical community.

FDA Acts to Reduce Use of Opioid Drugs

heidi Industry Updates, Resources for Physicians Comments Off on FDA Acts to Reduce Use of Opioid Drugs
The move to reduce overprescribing of painkilling drugs covers pills containing hydrocodone, which is more widely dispensed in the U.S. than cholesterol and blood pressure medications.

The move to reduce overprescribing of painkilling drugs covers pills containing hydrocodone, which is more widely dispensed in the U.S. than cholesterol and blood pressure medications.

In an effort to reduce the widespread abuse of narcotic painkilling drugs in the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration has recommended imposing far more severe restrictions, including an education program that zeros-in on reducing the misuse and misprescribing of opioids.

The decision by the federal agency follows a recommendation given to it by an advisory committee, which voted 19-10 to limit the amount of such medicines that can be prescribed without a new prescription. The move covers pills containing hydrocodone.

Hydrocodone is more widely dispensed in the U.S. than even cholesterol and blood pressure medications. But since it is commonly sold as a generic drug, hydrocodone makes up just a fraction of the fast-growing $7.3 billion pain market.

Key elements of the plan—called Epidemic: Responding to America’s Prescription Drug Abuse Crisis—include:

  • Expansion of state-based prescription drug monitoring programs
  • Recommending convenient and environmentally responsible ways to remove unused medications from homes
  • Supporting education for patients and health care providers
  • Reducing the number of “pill mills” and doctor-shopping through law enforcement

 

Read full report.


The Most Frequent Error in Medicine

heidi Elder Care Issues, Resources for Physicians Comments Off on The Most Frequent Error in Medicine
A study found that nearly a third of patients age 65 and older who are referred to a specialist end up not seeing that specialist.

A study found that nearly a third of patients age 65 and older who are referred to a specialist end up not seeing that specialist.

The most frequent error in medicine seems to occur nearly one out of three times a patient is referred to a specialist. A study found that nearly a third of patients age 65 and older referred to a specialist are not scheduled for appointments and therefore do not receive the treatment their primary care doctor intended.

According to a study in the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, only 71 percent of patients age 65 or older who are referred to a specialist are actually scheduled to be seen by that physician. Furthermore, only 70 percent of those with an appointment actually went to the specialist’s office.

Thus, only 50 percent (70 percent of 71 percent) of those referred to a specialist had the opportunity to receive the treatment their primary care doctor intended them to have, according to the findings by researchers from the Regenstrief Institute and the Indiana University School of Medicine. Read more


Home Care or Hospice Locator Site

heidi Home Health Care, Resources for Seniors Comments Off on Home Care or Hospice Locator Site

Looking for a home care or hospice agency? Finding the right provider does not have to be difficult.

Select the right home care agency with this user-friendly locator and checklist of questions to ask potential providers.

Select the right home care agency with this user-friendly locator and checklist of questions to ask potential providers.

The Home Care/Hospice Agency Locator contains the most comprehensive database of more than 33,000 home care and hospice agencies. Use this resource to find all the agencies in any particular area of the country.

Before starting, determine what home care services you need. If you’re new to home care, you can read all about it in the National Association for Home Care (NAHC) publication, How to Choose a Home Care Provider.