Dually Noted from around the web

September 18, 2015 § Leave a comment

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

Medicare Advantage membership up 7.3% from last year
With annual enrollment period right around the corner, CMS is reporting that membership in Medicare Advantage plans is up 7.3% from this time last year. Current membership stands at roughly 17.7 million. Plans with largest number of members are UnitedHealth Group (3.48 million), Humana (3.23 million), and Aetna (1.27 million).

Nationwide shift in the opioid addiction fight
Many states have taken significant steps to fight the opioid addiction crisis, actions that signal a shift from treating addiction as a criminal matter to addressing the problem as a public health concern.  For example, 40 states and the District of Columbia have passed laws that increase the availability of Narcan. Also, many states now offer immunity to individuals who call 911 for help with an overdose.

A physician discusses end-of-life care
In an essay on Kevin MD, a physician discusses the challenges and rewards of caring for dying patients.  He says that palliative care presents the challenges of maximizing comfort for the dying patients and ensuring that the individual can die with dignity. At the same time, he states that end-of-life treatment allows clinicians the opportunity to learn from patients and their families.

For more on the challenges and rewards of end-of-life care, listen to the Dually Heard podcast featuring Dr. John Loughnane, Commonwealth Care Alliance’s Senior Vice President of Medical Services.

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