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Editor's e-Note
Although specialized hospice interdisciplinary teams are ideally equipped to provide supportive care to patients at the end of life and their families, hospice care often is overlooked or dismissed when patients could benefit from its unique services. The very short periods of such care at the end of life indicate the need to expand outreach to patients and families, educating them on the solutions and associated comforts available.

In addition to reading our e-newsletter, be sure to visit Today’s Geriatric Medicine’s website at, where you’ll find news and information that’s relevant and reliable. We welcome your feedback at Follow Today’s Geriatric Medicine on Facebook and Twitter, too.

— Barbara Worthington, editor
e-News Exclusive
NHPCO Releases ‘Facts and Figures: Hospice Care in America’

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) continues to be concerned about the number of people who benefit from the care and services that hospices provide for a short period of time. NHPCO’s newly issued report, “Facts and Figures: Hospice Care in America,” indicates that just over 40% of Medicare beneficiaries accessing hospice received care for 14 days or fewer in 2015.

“The hospice interdisciplinary team is ideally suited to provide care and support to patients and family caregivers throughout the last months of life, not just the last days,” says Edo Banach, NHPCO president and CEO.

“We need to continue reaching out to patients, family caregivers, and other health care professionals to help them understand all the benefits that hospice care brings, particularly when provided in a timely fashion as part of a continuum of care,” Banach adds.

Full story »
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Other Geriatrics News
Lower Cost OTC Hearing Aids
Will Reach More People,
Prevent Other Medical Problems

New federal legislation will allow people with mild to moderate hearing loss to purchase hearing aids over the counter from retailers rather than through audiologists, saving older adults thousands of dollars, according to an article in The Baltimore Sun.

Opioid Prescription Study Challenges Government Guidelines for 7-Day Limit
A recent study described in The Washington Times notes that the restrictive opioid prescribing limitation recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can be inadequate in addressing patients' acute pain.

The Staggering Prices
of Long Term Care 2017

Steadily increasing long term care costs are likely to soon exceed $100,000 per year for a private nursing home room, according to an article at Next Avenue online.

Social Security Giveth,
Medical Costs Taketh Away

According to an article at Kaiser Health News online, after 2018, Medicare beneficiaries’ medical costs are expected to outpace the increase in Social Security benefits.
Tech & Tools
WoundRounds is a point-of-care wound management and prevention solution. It performs wound assessments using clinically validated tools. It sorts patients by overall risk and highlights specific jeopardizing conditions. It includes prompts for preventive interventions as well. It stores data and images and makes reports instantly accessible for review or sharing with care team via a secure network. The tool simplifies wound care product reimbursement. Users report lower rehospitalization rates and savings on wound care costs. Learn more »

Seal&Send Medication MailBack Envelopes
Seal&Send Medication MailBack Envelopes and Medication Collection Kiosks give long term care facilities new options to dispose of unused or expired medications. The products are compliant with Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) standards and allow providers to keep drugs out of the trash. The product reduces water contamination, allowing facilities to help with environmental and opioid abuse problems. The envelopes let users drop as much as 8 oz of pharmaceutical waste into a preaddressed envelope. The kiosks, meant for long term care facilities with DEA permits, allow users to dispose of old medications on site. Each location has a scale with a warning light that signals when the weight reaches capacity in order to stop overflow. Learn more »
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