death panels

Congress Should Not Kill End-Of-Life Talks Just As Physicians And Patients Are Having Them

We may be about to have a new debate over “death panels.” If we do, it would be a tragedy for tens of millions of Americans and their families. You may remember this small piece of the Affordable Care Act that garnered outsized attention back in 2010. It allowed Medicare to pay physicians for having end-of-life conversations with their patients. [...]

By |2017-03-02T09:33:41-05:00March 2nd, 2017|End of life, Medicare|0 Comments

Mass. Moves to Require End-of-Life Talks

WBUR radio and Kaiser Health News report that the Massachusetts Senate has quietly approved a measure requiring doctors and nurses to discuss end of life options with patients who have a terminal illness. The Palliative Care Awareness bill was included as part of a sweeping health reform measure and, remarkably, was not controversial.  It was supported by both Republicans and Democrats and [...]

By |2012-05-25T18:40:33-04:00May 25th, 2012|Aging, End of life, Health reform|1 Comment

An End-of-Life Lesson from the UK

More than 8,000 general practitioners in the United Kingdom will soon begin displaying in their offices seven "end-of-life" promises to their patients.  It is a great idea. According to an article in The Independent, every  GP (much like primary care physicians in the U.S.) will post this end-of-life pledge on the wall of their waiting room.    The Charter for End of [...]

By |2011-06-02T00:35:16-04:00June 2nd, 2011|End of life, Health reform|0 Comments

Medicare and End of Life Planning

The Obama Administration has decided to pay doctors for discussing end of the life issues with their Medicare patients. You may recall that this would have been permitted by the 2010 health law, but the provision was dropped in the face of withering criticism by opponents of health reform, who dubbed these important conversations "death panels."  The new rules are an important first step. Doctors absolutely [...]

By |2010-12-29T09:37:27-05:00December 29th, 2010|End of life|0 Comments

An Important Look at Palliative Care

Mike Vitez at the Philadelphia Inquirer has done a great story on palliative care at a community hospital. Mike weaves the deeply touching story of Mary Tole, a 74-year-old woman who spent two months in the suburban Philadelphia hospital with an undiagnosed illness. She spent much of that time in an intensive care bed in a coma.  Mike describes how the hospital's palliative care team [...]

By |2010-03-01T10:55:24-05:00March 1st, 2010|End of life, Health reform, Medicare|4 Comments