Resources for Physicians

KHN: End-Of-Life Care Better For Patients With Cancer, Dementia: Study Finds

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About 60 percent of people with a relative dying of cancer or dementia said their relative got excellent end-of-life treatment, with about 80 percent saying the relative always got the care he or she wanted.

About 60 percent of people with a relative dying of cancer or dementia said their relative got excellent end-of-life treatment, with about 80 percent saying the relative always got the care he or she wanted.

Kaiser Health News: End-Of-Life Care Better For Patients With Cancer, Dementia: Study Finds

Kaiser Health News staff writer Shefali Luthra reports: “A new study offers surprising findings about end-of-life care — specifically, physicians tend to be more likely to accommodate the advanced-care wishes of patients with cancer or dementia than renal disease, congestive heart failure, pulmonary disease or frailty. “There’s been a lot of focus on end-of-life care for cancer,” said Melissa Wachterman, the study’s principal author and a physician at the VA Boston Healthcare System and the Boston-based Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “But most people don’t die of cancer. And the quality of end-of-life care for those dying of other conditions … is not as good.” The research was published online Sunday in JAMA Internal Medicine.” (Luthra, 6/27)

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NPR: Medicare Seeks Savings and Innovation With a Switch in Doctors’ Pay

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New Medicare initiative seeks to tie doctor pay to patient outcomes.

New Medicare initiative seeks to tie doctor pay to patient outcomes.

The Obama administration is recruiting as many as 20,000 primary care doctors for an initiative it hopes will change the way physicians get paid and provide care.

The program, which was announced Monday, will be run by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The aim is to stop paying doctors based on the number of billable services and visits provided to Medicare beneficiaries and instead to tie payments to overall patient health and outcomes. (Kodjak, 4/11)

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Managing Depression A Challenge in Primary Care Settings, Study Finds

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Study examines how doctors treat depression.

Study examines how doctors treat depression.

Kaiser Health News staff writer Shefali Luthra reports: “Often referred to as the “common cold of mental health,” depression causes about 8 million doctors’ appointments a year. More than half are with primary care physicians.

A new study suggests those doctors may not be the best to treat the condition due to insurance issues, time constraints and other factors. The paper, published Monday in the March issue of Health Affairs, examines how primary care doctors treat depression. More often than not, according to the study, primary care practices fall short in teaching patients about managing their care and following up regularly to track their progress. That approach is considered most effective for treating chronic illnesses.” (Luthra, 3/8)

Read entire article here.