University of the Sciences in Philadelphia

Editorial Archives

September/October 2008  •  Volume 3, Number 5

From the Editor
A Brave New World (PDF, 3 pages)
Richard G. Stefanacci, DO, MGH, MBA, AGSF, CMD  •  p. 9
Feature Articles
Use of Technology in Health Care (PDF, 3 pages)
The use of technology in health care now includes desktop, networked, and laptop computers as well as personalized digital assistants (PDAs) such as Palm Pilots and pocket PCs. Who is using which equipment for what? Senior Care Digest surveyed healthcare providers; see the responses here.
p. 18
Electronic Medication Management Systems in Long-term Care and Beyond (PDF, 2 pages)
In long-term care (LTC), special issues, such as accessing medications through Medicare Part D and requirements of the State Operations Manual (SOM), make efficient and effective management of medications essential. Electronic systems can help efficiency, provide data for pay-for-performance measures, and reduce medication-related errors.
Richard G. Stefanacci, DO, MGH, MBA, AGSF, CMD • p. 21
How Disease Burden Influences Medication Patterns for Medicare Beneficiaries: Implications for Policy (PDF, 10 pages)
Analysis of 2002 Medicare Part D data shows a common pattern This issue brief provides benchmarks, based on empirical analyses of 2002 data, for evaluating the quality of pharmaceutical care under the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit. The analyses cover all major classes of pharmaceuticals used by beneficiaries with 1 of 8 chronic conditions. Common patterns observed include: (1) a mounting disease burden is associated with increasingly complex medication regimens in every group, and (2) the intensity and persistence of drug use tend to rise with disease burden up to a point, before declining for beneficiaries with the greatest morbidity. The study concludes that neither traditional drug quality indicators nor new quality assurance mechanisms mandated by law are well aligned to capture suboptimal medication use at either end of the spectrum of disease burden in the Medicare population. A holistic approach to medication management is needed to ensure that Part D plans meet beneficiaries’ and policymakers’ expectations for high-quality care.
Bruce C. Stuart  •  p. 23
EHR: A Powerful Tool for Physicians in Small Practices (PDF, 4 pages)
Health information technology (HIT), including electronic health record (EHR) systems, has become an important tool to help hospitals and physicians achieve operational efficiencies, expedite transfer of patient information, handle medication prescriptions safely, promote patient care, improve patient safety, and reduce medical errors.
Andrew Miller, MD, MPH  •  p. 32
Recognizing Risks and Signs of Depression (PDF, 2 pages)
Many older adults face a variety of significant life changes that can put them at risk for depression. Depression is not a normal part of aging, but unfortunately is a widely under-recognized and under-treated illness in older adults. Although seniors 65 and older represent 12% of the US population, they accounted for a disproportionate 16% of suicide deaths in 2004. Learn how to monitor residents for depression.
Jean Bandos, MSN, GCNS-BC  •  p. 36
Alzheimer's Disease Fact and Figures 2008: A Report from the Alzheimer's Association, Part 3 (PDF, 3 pages)
In the third series on Alzheimer's disease (AD), Assisted Living Consult reprints the next part of the Alzheimer's Association report. This section discusses family caregiving for AD. In 2007, 9.8 million family members, friends, and neighbors provided unpaid care for a person with AD or another dementia.
The Alzheimer's Association  •  p. 38
Commentary  •  p. 12
Case Study  •  p. 13
From the Desk of CMS  •  p. 14
Clinical Guidelines  •  p. 16
Legal Corner •  p. 44
Technology and Information   •  p. 47
Quick Facts & Stats   •  p. 48

Requests for reprints of Medicare Patient Management articles or permissions to use article content may be sent to Jennifer Kenny at

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