News
COVID-19: CALTCM Updates

by Flora Bessey, Pharm.D., BCGP

In preparing and responding to the COVID-19 crisis, CALTCM has been conducting and continues to schedule a series of webinars discussing various aspects of this situation. The link to the previous webinars can be found on our website (links provided below). Please mark your calendar for every Monday at 4PM PDT to take part in the webinars “live.”

In addition, CALTCM has been working with state legislators to reconsider the all-facilities letter that was recently promulgated by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) delineating that SNF’s must accept (or readmit) patients that are positive for COVID-19, click here to view CDPH ALF 20-32. The resolution that is being considered (in partnership with California State Senator Stern) would enable a more nuanced approach to this mandate, and would take into account several factors that would be facility-specific, including but not limited to: ability to isolate these patients; access to appropriate personal protective equipment(PPE); staffing concerns. 

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A Garden of Love Grows in a Grandmother's Heart
Introduction by Patricia Latham Bach, PsyD, RN
In the midst of fires, power outages and general trauma throughout California, we're pausing to reflect on a heartwarming story and moment of grace captured by Huffington Post journalist Brittany Wong and photographers Marie Kamp and Misty McLendon earlier this year. (Huffington Post, August 19, 2019). 

In "Her Grandma Couldn't Fly To Her Wedding, So This Bride Did The Next Best Thing" Wong highlights the challenges faced by LTC residents unable to travel and/or participate in special family events and creates a deeply touching example of how one family utilized creative problem solving to share a very special day in the life of a grandmother and granddaughter.
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Sweet Words of Wisdom on Longevity and Happiness

From CBS Sunday morning 10-13-2019 

Successful aging stories abound, but this one takes the cake.

Mr. Ray Boutwell, age 93
Mr. Ray Boutwell, age 93
Presented by Steve Hartman on CBS Sunday Morning (CBS 10-13-2019), this short story will capture the heart of every viewer who has ever enjoyed a cupcake, set professional goals and enjoyed a special moment with a life seeking senior. In short, all of us in long term care.

This video will make your day. Take a quick break to enjoy these sweet words of wisdom and let us know what you think!

The video can be viewed at https://www.cbsnews.com/video/ending-retirement-with-cupcakes/

 
Pearls from the UCLA Intensive Course in Geriatrics and Pharmacy 2019
by Dan Osterweil, MD, FACP, CMD

Drs. Wasserman and Osterweil were on the faculty of this renowned course that brings more than 300 physicians, nurse practitioners and pharmacists to Los Angeles. This annual event brings the best of Geriatrics to four intensive days. 

In the photo, Dr. Wasserman, CALTCM President, is sharing his experience in the business of geriatric medicine, while also showing the image of his father, who is the national Albert Einstein impersonator. Dr. Osterweil, co-director of the UCLA course and CALTCM CEO, led a workshop in advance care planning featuring Drs. Bruce Ferrell, Neil Wenger and Rebecca Yamarik, all experts in Palliative Care and Hospice. This interactive workshop highlighted the importance of having the discussions about goals and preferences of elders. All speakers agreed that clinicians should make recommendations consistent with the patient’s prognosis and personal goals. The consensus was that asking patients whether they should be resuscitated is almost always inappropriate. The patient is an expert on their own goals and preferences, and the clinician is an expert in medicine who should not shy away from making recommendations based on that. A session on opportunities for practice improvement and another on care transitions were led by Dr. Osterweil on other days of the course.
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Governor Signs AB 714; Bill Takes Effect Immediately
by Coalition for Compassionate Care of California
Shared with permission
 

AB 714 (Wood), which clarifies current law and provides common-sense exemptions from opioid co-prescribing requirements, passed the legislature and was signed on Sept 6 by Governor Newsom. Specifically, AB 714 exempts opioid prescribers from naloxone hydrochloride co-prescribing requirements when ordering medications to be administered to a patient who is in either an inpatient or outpatient setting or a patient who is terminally ill, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 11159.2 of the Health and Safety Code. AB 714 has an urgency clause, which means it took effect immediately upon the governor’s signature. 

“CCCC works hard to ensure that proposed legislation recognizes the unique needs of palliative care providers and the people they serve,” said Judy Thomas, CEO of the Coalition for Compassionate Care of California (CCCC). “Given that the original requirement had minimal benefit to terminally ill patients but a significant negative impact in terms of time and money for healthcare providers, an exemption was warranted.”

Palliative care providers joined CCCC in celebrating the passage of AB 714. “We appreciate legislators’ efforts to make the safety of California citizens a top priority,” said Michael Fratkin, MD, Founder-CEO of ResolutionCare. “As a palliative care program that often provides care for people who are terminally ill, we are relieved that AB 714 provides an exemption from the naloxone requirements because it allows us to focus our attention where it should be — on providing care to our patients. We’re proud of the work that CCCC and others do to advocate for the interests of palliative care providers and the people they serve.”

Posted online at: 

https://coalitionccc.org/2019/09/prescriptions-for-terminally-ill-now-exempt-from-opioid-co-prescribing-requirement/

 
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