ABCD Exchange : March - April 2001 : QuickScan - News In Brief

Upfront - 2nd National Congress
President's Letter - Stretching Limits
Meet the Board - Introducing Members
Lunch Bunch - First Meeting of 2001
Gatherings - Searching for Spirituality
Caregiving - Volunteer Teams in AL
Innovations - MD Training in EOL Care

News and Notes on End of Life Care

Washington, DC - The Senate will consider a bipartisan plan to overhaul Medicare and address problems in prescription drug coverage. Sen. John Breaux (D - LA) and Sen. Bill Frist (R - TN) have proposed a national Medicare Board to run the program and to create a competitive environment among the plans. Benefits would remain at their current level, but the new plan would include prescription drug coverage. Breaux told Reuters, "The issues are not that difficult. It's a question of having enough courage to make some difficult decisions."

Washington, DC - According to a report from the Newhouse News Organization, President Bush may take on physician - assisted suicide by reversing the Clinton administration's interpretation of federal drug laws and blocking Oregon's legalized physician - assisted suicide. This news come from Senator Gordon Smith (R - OR) who says he told the President, "I would appreciate having some input into any clarifications you might make." In a letter to the President, Smith outlined a proposal that sounds much like last year's Pain Relief Promotion Act (PRPA), which passed the House but did not reach the Senate for a vote.

Washington, DC - The Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research (AHRQ) has published a new resource for consumers on health care quality. It aims to help patients and others make more informed choices about doctors, health plans, and long - term care. The brochure, Improving Health Care Quality: A Guide for Patients and Families, provides information and resources to enable people to take the steps necessary to find quality care. Contents include basic descriptions of how quality is measured and how to obtain such information. It can be viewed online at http://www.ahrq.gov/consumer

World Wide Web - Dr. Robert Twycross and Dr. Andrew Wilcock, and Ms Sarah Thorp, authors of Palliative Care Formulary, 1998, have created a new website, http://www.palliativedrugs.com. The site targets professionals with information on the appropriate use of medication for palliative care. Although it is based on the British national formulary, American health care providers are likely to benefit from the information.

Northampton, MA - Smith College School for Social Work is offering an Advanced Practice Certificate in End - of - Life Care this summer, August 4 - 10. Supported in part by the Project on Death in America, the course is designed for social work practitioners with at least two years of relevant work experience. Coursework spans two summers (6 days each) and includes an 8 - month clinical internship in the participant's work setting. Curriculum includes: spirituality, ethics, interdisciplinary issues, compassion fatigue, hospice and palliative care, and bereavement. For information visit,http://www.smith.edu/ssw or call Kate Costella at (413) 585 - 3722, fax (413) 585 - 7994.

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This content is provided by Americans for Better Care of the Dying. For more information, visit www.abcd-caring.org.