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In the News: Hospice and Palliative Care Consensus Group Issues Methadone Safety Guidelines

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In 2014, the American Pain Society (APS), College on Problems of Drug Dependence, and the Heart Rhythm Society released clinical practice guidelines that focused primarily on safe methadone prescribing practices.

The APS guidelines included information regarding patient education, dosing and titration methods, recommendations for electrocardiograph (ECG) and adverse event monitoring. Unfortunately, these guidelines didn’t account for patients with limited life expectancies. Since there is less utility in aggressively monitoring this patient demographic, in 2015, a panel of 15 hospice and palliative care (HPC) experts convened to develop their own guidelines on methadone treatment for patients with life-limiting illnesses. Following a systematic search and review of methadone literature, along with evaluating the APS guidelines, their guidance aimed to maximize benefits and minimize risks for these patients. Their opinions, “Safe and Appropriate Use of Methadone in Hospice and...

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Together as One | Nurse Profile: Brandi

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Our “Together as One” series spotlights nurses, physicians, pharmacists and others who positively impact the lives of hospice patients and their families every day. Through the dedicated and compassionate work of these inspiring professionals, patients receive the high-quality care and attentive consideration they deserve. Together with innovative and responsive hospice partners, they create the network of support so essential to hospice care. We invite you to meet the people behind the mission—and see what one can do.

Brandi Wethington, BSN, RN

Treasure Health

Fort Pierce, FL

 

What inspired you to become a nurse?

From the time I was a little girl, I always wanted to be a nurse. I aspired to advocate for patients, to empower people to make informed decisions, to be a comfort to people during a difficult time and to be someone who was trusted to always do the right thing.

How did you come to work in hospice specifically?

My grandmother was in hospice care for the last couple...

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Together as One | Nurse Profile: KCinnamon

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Our “Together as One” series spotlights nurses, physicians, pharmacists and others who positively impact the lives of hospice patients and their families every day. Through the dedicated and compassionate work of these inspiring professionals, patients receive the high-quality care and attentive consideration they deserve. Together with innovative and responsive hospice partners, they create the network of support so essential to hospice care. We invite you to meet the people behind the mission—and see what one can do.

KCinnamon Dowling, RN

Residential Hospice

Troy, MI

 

What inspired you to become a nurse?

I was the sole caregiver when my mother was battling cancer. I had no idea what I was doing and felt so lost and out of control. When the curative approach had been exhausted and palliative was the right path, I remember the relief that washed over me that I no longer had to figure everything out by myself anymore, I had help. That was a wonderful feeling when I was going...

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Together as One | Nurse Profile: Amanda

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Our “Together as One” series spotlights nurses, physicians, pharmacists and others who positively impact the lives of hospice patients and their families every day. Through the dedicated and compassionate work of these inspiring professionals, patients receive the high-quality care and attentive consideration they deserve. Together with innovative and responsive hospice partners, they create the network of support so essential to hospice care. We invite you to meet the people behind the mission—and see what one can do.

Amanda Gutierrez, RN

Optimal Hospice

Fresno, CA

 

What inspired you to become a nurse?

I wanted to be able to make a difference in someone’s life, no matter how small. Encouraging, uplifting, and empowering people is what makes me happy.

How did you come to work in hospice specifically?

A fellow nurse encouraged me to apply, and based on my respect for her and her compassion, I did so. Working in hospice has been a rewarding experience and I fell in love with the...

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Create a Culture of Adaptability in Your Hospice

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Have you seen the NewsBriefs report on the U.S Department of Health & Human Services Office of Inspector General’s review of Medicare Part D claims? Are you curious what it means? Come talk to the OnePoint Patient Care hospice pharmacy experts during the NHPCO Management and Leadership Conference. Find us at booth #423.

When Compliance Means Change

Managing a successful hospice program means also managing the rigmarole of regulatory compliance. While keeping up with paperwork and potential change in the compliance climate can be cumbersome, being prepared can help avoid burdening your resources when issues arise—such as when prescription payment claims may be under review.

As you may have seen in the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) NewsBriefs this week, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) is reviewing a sample of Medicare Part D prescriptions filled during hospice claim dates in 2016. The aim is to determine whether some of the prescription drugs...

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When to Seek New Referrals to Balance Patient Representation

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Are Patient Principal Diagnosis Ratios Impacting Your Hospice's Bottom Line? 

No two hospice patients are the same. And yet, part of the challenge that hospice leaders face is knowing how to plan effectively for the year ahead when so much depends on those patients and the time they spend in hospice care.

Over time, a hospice program can identify probabilities and trends that can help with advance planning and resource distribution, from inventory management to staffing and budget allocation.

One data trend that should be closely monitored is the number of patients by admitting diagnosis. Knowing what the typical diagnosis mix is for a hospice program, and what that mix is likely to be throughout the year, can offer valuable insights for planning potential costs.

Considering how impactful expected length of stay can be, as well as the cost of medication, on a hospice's bottom line, conducting an analysis to determine any trends is well worth the effort.

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Controlled Substances in Hospice

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 Best Practices for Ordering Controlled Substance Prescriptions 

Handling Errors

What happens if pharmacists discover an error in a controlled substance prescription?

Nobody’s perfect. Mistakes happen, including when writing prescriptions. While some errors can be corrected easily, others require a do-over, particularly in the case of controlled substances.

OnePoint Patient Care’s highly trained pharmacists are skilled at noticing mistakes and correcting them when legally permissible, with the goal of getting accurate medication to patients as quickly as possible.

It is helpful to understand when and why our pharmacists can and cannot correct the errors they find.

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A Commitment to Patient Care, Down to the Details

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OnePoint knows that patient care is your top priority. During busy days spent juggling responsibilities, you need medication ordering to be easy, fast and—just as importantly—accurate. With OPPC as your pharmacy partner, you will enjoy peace of mind that your medication orders will be timely and correct.

With a 99.997% medication dispensing accuracy rate and a 99% customer retention rate, we’ve earned the trust of hospices nationwide by focusing on the details.

For every medication order, we follow our carefully crafted four-step quality control process called Rx AccuTrack®:

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5 Ways to Prevent Drug Diversion

OPPC’s mission to provide our patients, their caregivers and their family members with the highest quality of care, reliability and support means that we take the issue of drug diversion extremely seriously.

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Realm of Relatedness: A disease state assignment to the use of memantine

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Medications are prescribed for many reasons, usually for labeled indications but other times off-label. Knowing why medications are prescribed is essential to help understand the continued need for therapy as well as to determine payment responsibility in this time of Medicare Part D risk. 

Namenda (memantine) is well known for its labeled use in treating cognitive decline in patients with moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease. However, its off-label, and potentially related, uses may be less known; for example in managing symptoms such as those in vascular dementia. Recently is has also been used off-label to prevent cognitive decline in patients receiving Whole Brain Radiation Therapy (WBRT)1–2.

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Media Contact

Charlie Otterbeck

OnePoint Patient Care

P 847-583-5652

cotterbeck@oppc.com

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