Medicare Defers Request To Pay Doctors For End-Of-Life Counseling
Medicare has signaled a willingness to consider paying doctors who counsel patients on end-of-life decisions, though it’s putting the issue on hold for now. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services rejected a request from the American Medical Association to adopt new billing codes for such advance care planning in a 2015 physician payment rule the agency released last week. Counseling people about what choices they would face for care when terminally ill was portrayed as a government effort to establish “death panels” during the bitter debate over the health care overhaul. (Young, 11/4
The American health care system is poorly equipped to care sensitively for patients at the end of life, a recent report from the Institute of Medicine found. But it is possible, through careful planning, for individuals to choose the kind of death they want. Consumer Reports has released a guide to end-of-life planning for families. The report offers tips for caregivers and individuals and profiles one man’s “beautiful death” at home. KHN staff reporter Jenny Gold interviewed author Nancy Metcalf about the report. (Gold, 11/14)
Read about this at http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/ in an article written by Jenny Gold at Kaiser Health News
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