Diane Meier, MD Quoted in Oncology Times on the Medicare Care Choices Model

A recent article in Oncology Times discussed the the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) launch of the Medicare Care Choices Model. On January 1, 2016, some advanced cancer patients will not have to choose between curative therapy and hospice care. Care Choices is a five-year program in which CMS will explore whether certain Medicare patients with terminal illnesses would be well served by the opportunity to receive hospice services while they are also receiving chemotherapy or other treatment.

Diane Meier, MD said she hopes the Care Choices Model will contribute to a cultural change that makes concurrent palliative care the standard of care for people with serious illnesses:

“It will hopefully demonstrate to oncologists that they can continue their specialty-level care for their patients in partnership with a team that will focus on things that are outside the oncologist’s bailiwick—like family caregiver exhaustion, social issues, family conflict, and intractable constipation. These are things that oncologists have neither the training nor the time to address, yet I think every oncologist would agree that these are incredibly important issues in terms of optimizing their patients’ health and wellbeing.”

Click here for the full article.

Symptom Monitoring With Patient-Reported Outcomes During Routine Cancer Treatment: A Randomized Controlled Trial

In a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, researchers found that collecting electronic patient-reported symptom assessments improves quality of life and survival in advanced cancer.

The full study can be found here.

Health Literacy and Palliative Care: What Really Happens to Patients

A December 3rd National Academy of Medicine Perspectives article recaps a presentation given by Beverly Alves, Patient Advocate, and Diane Meier, MD  at an Institute of Medicine Roundtable on Health Literacy workshop titled “Health Literacy and Palliative Care” in July 2015. The presentation highlighted the experience of the health care system for those who need palliative care and the difficulty in accessing it. They noted that the health literacy problem in our health system resides within the health care system, and used Bev’s story to exemplify issues the system has in finding out, understanding and responding to what matters most to patients and their families.

Read the full commentary here.

Nominate physicians for the 2016 Hastings Center Cunniff-Dixon Physician Awards

The Cunniff-Dixon Foundation, in conjunction with The Hastings Center, team up to recognize individual doctors (through annual award ceremonies) for their exemplary role in advancing end-of-life care. More than a half million dollars has been awarded to 29 deserving doctors over the past six years.

The deadline to nominate physicians is December 31, 2015. The nomination form can be found here.

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