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Getting Ready for Your Medicare Survey? These Resources Can Help!!

CMS survey and certification memos to state survey agencies are posted on the second Thursday of every month:


The State Operations Manual (SOM):


Appendix Q of SOM "Guidelines for Determining Immediate Jeopardy":


OASIS Manual, chapter 8:


New Web Site Provides Current Dietary Supplement Information

The International Bibliographic Information on Dietary Supplements (IBIDS) database has been made available to the public through a redesigned Web interface on the National Institute of Health's Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) home page. The IBIDS database was originally launched in 1999 as a result of the Dietary Supplement and Health Education Act, which mandated the creation of a tool to assist both scientists and the public in locating credible scientific literature on dietary supplements.


The database provides access to bibliographic citations and abstracts from the published, international, and scientific literature on dietary supplements, and is intended for use by individuals with varying levels of expertise. Users can choose to search the full IBIDS database, a subset of consumer citations only, or peer-reviewed citations only. Go to to access database.


Do Patients Tell and Clinicians Ask About Prescription Drug Costs?

Two-thirds of chronically ill adults don't tell their doctors they've cut back on their medication because of cost new research reveals. The study showed varying reasons, mainly that patients don't think their clinicians can help, or they're too embarrassed to mention it. But those who did mention it found their clinicians to be helpful and received assistance such as free samples or a change in their regimen to a less-expensive or generic alternative.


Further findings indicated that most providers fail to ask their patients if they have trouble paying for medication. Recommendations were that physicians and nurses should take a more proactive role in identifying and assisting patients who have problems paying for prescription drugs. The study, led by John D. Piette, PhD, and his colleagues from the Center for Practice Management and Outcomes Research at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, was published in the September 13, 2004, issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine. For more information visit


Free Carbohydrate Counting Booklet Available

Patients with diabetes or those with other dietary concerns can download Carb Counting ...Eat to Win. The 32-page booklet by Becton Dickinson explains why people with diabetes need to limit their carbohydrate intake. It's simple; carbohydrates are nutrients that have the most effect on blood sugar. The easy-to-read full-color booklet is a basic primer that answers the most asked questions about nutrients: What is a carb? Why should I count carbs? Are some carbs better for me? How would I count carbs by the gram? How would I count carbs by the serving? What supplies do I need to get started? For a copy of the booklet, visit


NIH Issues Plan of Attack on Obesity

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has released its final version of the Strategic Plan for NIH Obesity Research. Emphasizing the importance of cross-cutting investigations, the plan calls for interdisciplinary research teams to bridge the study of behavioral and environmental causes of obesity with the study of genetic and biologic causes. Noting that obesity has reached "epidemic levels" in the U.S., the NIH warns in its 95-page report that the rise in obesity, if left unabated, "will place a severe burden on the nation's health and healthcare system." The report is available online at


New Research Center to Improve Home Care Nursing Practice

The Visiting Nurse Association of Boston (VNAB) and the William F. Connell School of Nursing at Boston College have established a new Center for Excellence in Home Care Practice and Education. The research center's goals are to improve patient outcomes, educate, recruit, and retain a home care nursing workforce and support the development of a home care clinical specialty program at Boston College.


The VNA will have access to the college's nursing experts in disease and symptom management, patient teaching, program measurement and evaluation, and application of technology in patient teaching and staff education. The center will also provide VNA nurses opportunities to advance their clinical practice and for Boston College faculty to gain access to a clinical site for educating students about home care as well as carrying out applied research projects. The VNAB will also provide student nurses and faculty the opportunity to receive hands-on experience working with a culturally diverse and underserved patient population. Adele Pike, RN, EdD, will serve as the center's director.