08/11/15: Palliative Chemotherapy and Quality of Life at the End of Life

Palliative chemotherapy is prescribed to patients with cancer at end of life to alleviate symptoms and perhaps improve survival.  Holly Prigerson and colleagues from the Center for Research on End-of-Life Care at Weill Cornell Medical College recently published in JAMA Oncology the results of a multi-institutional, longitudinal study of patients with progressive, previously treated cancer to evaluate the association between chemotherapy use and quality of life near death (QOD) as a function of patients' performance status. Patients with at least one chemotherapy regimen were followed until death at outpatient oncology clients.  The study concluded that the use of palliative chemotherapy did not improve QOD for patients with end-stage cancer and can even harm patients with good performance status prior. The authors call into question the routine offering of chemotherapy to patients with terminal cancers  and recommend updating American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) guidelines to recognize the potential harm of prescribing chemotherapy to patients with a prognosis of 6 months of less.

Links to JAMA Oncology abstract Click here (07/2015) and Medscape article Click here

07/28/15: Terri Maxwell, PhD, APRN, VP of Clinical Education of Enclara Pharmacia and COO of Turn-Key Health Scheduled to Present at Several Leading Industry Events This Fall

Philadelphia, PA (July 27, 2015) –  As the Vice President of Clinical Education at Enclara Pharmacia, Terri Maxwell, PhD, APRN, oversees and contributes to the development of resources to assist hospice partners in providing evidence-based symptom management and palliative care to their patients. Terri will now be sharing her knowledge and expertise with attendees at several industry events in Louisiana, Ohio, and California over the coming months.

“Terri is a widely published author and presenter at national and state conferences with a wealth of experience in clinical initiatives, program development, patient services, community relations, and strategic planning,” said Andy Horowitz, CEO of Enclara Pharmacia. “We are thrilled she has been invited to so many prestigious events to share her knowledge and provide important information about trends impacting the industry.”

Terri will be presenting at the following conferences:

  • Louisiana-Mississippi Hospice and Palliative Care Organization Leadership Conference taking place July 29-31, 2015 in New Orleans. Terri will present Antipsychotic Use in Nursing Homes: What's the Agitation All About? on Wednesday, July 29 at 2:45 pm and Palliative Care of the Patient with COPD on Thursday, July 30 at 1:30 pm.
  • Ohio Council for Home Care and Hospice Annual Conference and Tradeshow taking place September 15-16, 2015 in Columbus, Ohio. Terri will present Lightening the Load: Reducing Pharmaceutical Burden with Appropriate Discontinuation Strategies on Wednesday, September 16 at 1:45 pm.
  • Midwest Care Alliance Annual Conference taking place November 3-5, 2015 in Columbus, Ohio. Terri will present Antipsychotics Use in Dementia and Delirium Management and the New STAR Quality Measures on Wednesday, November 4 at 10:30 am.
  • California Hospice and Palliative Care Association Annual Conference taking place November 9-10, 2015 in Long Beach, California. Terri will be on two panels. The first panel is with Dr. Tim Dauwalder on the topic of Advanced Disease Management and Cost Containment. The second panel session is called Innovative & Cost Effective Models of Palliative Care - Part II.

Throughout her 30 years of healthcare experience, Terri has led and contributed to projects to improve end-of-life care through state-supported initiatives and media events. She has held leadership positions in hospice consulting, education, and program development. Terri received her BSN from the University of Rhode Island (URI), and a master’s degree in nursing and a doctorate in nursing science from the University of Pennsylvania. In 2010, she was awarded the Dean’s List Distinguished Achievement Award for URI’s School of Nursing.

About Enclara Pharmacia

Enclara Pharmacia is a national full service mail order and PBM supplier of medications and clinical services developed specifically for the hospice and palliative care industry. Enclara services over 500 customers and 85,000 patients in 48 states, helping to reduce pharmacy costs through a clinically driven model that enables home delivery of pharmaceuticals, as well as access to a network of over 65,000 retail pharmacies, including our own automated fulfillment pharmacies, and institutional pharmacies. For more information, visit www.enclarapharmacia.com.

About Turn-Key Health

Turn-Key Health, a division of Enclara Pharmacia is an end-of-life population health management company, focused on improving the quality of care provided to patients with life-limiting illnesses. Turn-Key partners with hospice and home healthcare providers to deliver palliative care / advanced illness management to payors and health systems. Turn-Key Health utilizes proprietary predictive analytics to identify patients who are likely to receive non-beneficial care during the end-of-life, and engages with those patients using scientifically validated interventions. The structured assessments and interventions are supported and tracked via a mobile end-of-life population health management platform. For more information, visit www.enclarapharmacia.com/turn-key-health/

07/21/15: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS): Three new palliative care Fast Facts are now available!

The Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) is a national organization dedicated to increasing the availability of quality palliative care services for people facing serious illness. CAPC provides peer-reviewed, evidence-based summaries of key palliative care topics, termed “Fast Facts”. Three new palliative care Fast Facts are now available. Fast Fact #301 introduces strategies for pharmacologic management of ALS while Fast Fact #300 reviews non-pharmacologic therapies.  Fast Fact #299 provides specific guidance on the management of sialorrhea in ALS. 

Links to Fast Fact #299, Fast Fact #300 and Fast Fact #301 (06/2015)

07/09/15: Is a physician’s order required for pulse oximetry in the home?

Despite it’s non-invasive nature, according to CMS and the FDA, hospice clinicians are required to have a physician’s order to obtain pulse oximetry in the home.  These orders should include the parameters that should be reported to the physician so that clinical changes can be addressed as part of the patient’s plan of care. See attached advisory from ACHC for more information. 


ACHC Pulse Oximetry in the Home


© Enclara Pharmacia
(877) 882-7822
1601 Cherry Street, Suite 1700
Philadelphia, PA 19102
© Enclara Pharmacia