Thursday, January 6, 2011

end of life counseling

an article was posted that criticizes the administration's decision on the rules re this provision.  see

One commenter (Vaccine) on the article. states:

Repealing this regulation in no way prevents doctors from talking to  patients about end of life planning - it just means Medicare won't pay  doctors extra for certain types of conversations.  Conversations, which  incidentally are intended to save the Medicare program money by  encouraging patients to affirmatively think about whether they want  expensive all-means-possible end of life efforts.

I responded to the article and her comment. 

I think Vaccine makes a very useful comment. I agree that end of life counseling is extremely valuable. In essence those who oppose it, are saying they want a government that wants people to die a painful death rather than a peaceful death. However, the political realities is that the administration was politically obligated to remove this language from the regulation, because they did not include it in the proposed rule and they had agreed to remove this language in order to get the bill passed.

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