Three things you should know this week

September 19, 2014 § 1 Comment

Articles, commentary, research, and more from the past week:

Study takes on “Dying in America”
With its new report, Dying in America, the Institute of Medicine hopes to start a conversation that could lead to improvements in end-of-life planning and care. The report found that less than 30% of Americans have documented their wishes for end-of-life care. It also found “a shortage of doctors proficient in palliative care, reluctance among providers to have direct and honest conversations about end-of-life issues, and inadequate financial and organizational support for the needs of ailing and dying patients.”

Senior medication abuse and misuse is on the rise
According to recent studies, more and more seniors are becoming addicted to their medications, and others are “taking medication that is having little effect or unintentional effects, either because they are taking it for too long, they were prescribed too big a dose, or it is reacting badly with other medications.” In response, the American Geriatrics Society is updated standards for “determining what medications are potentially inappropriate for seniors.”

Central MA companies increase investments in behavioral health
A report in the Worcester Business Journal describes how private health care companies in Central Massachusetts are expanding mental health services. Because demand is on the rise and state funding sources are unpredictable, Tenet Health, Fallon Health, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts have recently introduced new programs, services, and facilities to treat individuals with behavioral health issues.

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