Coverage for End-of-Life Talks Gaining Ground
by JONATHAN M. METSCH, DR.P.H., LLC
Apr 01, 2015 | 36565 views | 0 0 comments | 489 489 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Recently the New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/ * reported: “Five years after it exploded into a political conflagration over “death panels,” the issue of paying doctors to talk to patients about end-of-life care is making a comeback, and such sessions may be covered for the 50 million Americans on Medicare as early as next year.

Bypassing the political process, private insurers have begun reimbursing doctors for these “advance care planning” conversations as interest in them rises along with the number of aging Americans. People are living longer with illnesses, and many want more input into how they will spend their final days, including whether they want to die at home or in the hospital, and whether they want full-fledged life-sustaining treatment, just pain relief or something in between. Some states, including Colorado and Oregon, recently began covering the sessions for Medicaid patients.

If Medicare adopts the change, its decision will also set the standard for private insurers, encouraging many more doctors to engage in these conversations.”

* to read the full NYTs article “Coverage for End-of-Life Talks Gaining Ground” by Pam Belluck, highlight and click on open hyperlink

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/31/health/end-of-life-talks-may-finally-overcome-politics.html

Doctor, Did You Wash Your Hands? ™ provides information to consumers on understanding, managing and navigating health care options.

Jonathan M. Metsch, Dr.P.H., is Clinical Professor, Preventive Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; and Adjunct Professor, Baruch College ( C.U.N.Y.), Rutgers School of Public Health, and Rutgers School of Public Affairs and Administration

This blog shares general information about understanding and navigating the health care system. For specific medical advice about your own problems, issues and options talk to your personal physician.

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