TruPharmacy News: May Edition

Panel backs ending requirement for hospice doctors

A Florida law mandating that hospice and palliative-care physicians check a statewide database to ensure patients aren’t shopping around for opioids is “stupid,” state Rep. Cary Pigman said Thursday.

Pigman, an Avon Park Republican and emergency-room physician, is sponsoring a bill (HB 375) that would eliminate the database-check requirement for patients who have been admitted to hospice.

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The truth behind four common hospice myths

It is difficult and even painful for patients and families to make the decision about turning to hospice care. Despite continual growth in awareness and access, society still harbors many myths about hospice and the care it provides.

These misconceptions contribute to the underutilization of hospice services. This is unfortunate, because many patients with life-limiting terminal illnesses could benefit from expert pain and symptom control, as well as the emotional, social and spiritual support that hospice care can provide.

There are four common hospice myths that contribute to the stigma surrounding this form of care.

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CMS Proposes To Force Hospices to Specify Unrelated Treatments

In recent years, CMS has claimed that “virtually all” treatment (drugs or services) a terminally ill patient requires should be deemed “related” to the terminal illness. CMS has claimed that Part D insurers, for instance, have covered millions of dollars of medications for admitted hospice patients that should have been paid for by hospices.

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