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July 2011, Volume 41 Number 7 , p 23 - 25



Many patients older than age 50 don't discuss their use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) with their healthcare providers, according to a new survey from the AARP and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). Among survey respondents, 53% reported using CAM at some point in their lives. Of those, 42% hadn't discussed it with their provider.A primary reason for the lack of dialogue may be that providers don't ask patients about CAM use. Survey respondents were twice as likely to say that they, not their provider, raised the topic. The two main reasons respondents gave for lack of discussion were that their provider never asks (42%) and that they didn't know they should bring up their CAM use (30%).The most common reasons respondents gave for using CAM were to: * promote general wellness (77%) * reduce pain (73%) * treat a specific condition (59%) * supplement conventional medicine (53%).To see complete survey results, visit NCCAM's Website at .Initiated under the Affordable Care Act of 2010, transitional care programs are intended to facilitate safe and timely transfer of hospitalized patients with complex chronic conditions from one level or type of care to another. Researchers studying 21 randomized clinical trials of transitional care programs for these vulnerable patients identified nine interventions associated with the most positive outcomes, measured primarily by reductions in readmissions within at least 30 days of discharge. They found that "many of the successful interventions shared similar features, such as assigning a nurse as the clinical manager or leader of care and including in-person home visits to discharged patients." Based on their findings, researchers recommend several strategies to guide implementation of transitional care programs, such as participation in the Community-Based Care Transitions Program and Medicare shared savings and payment bundling experiments.Source:

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