Green House Blog

End of Life Counseling: Medicare soon to cover the costs of those discussions with your doctor

elder shahbaz hands 1Plans to reimburse doctors for conversations with Elders about what to do about end-of-life care has been talked about for years–and at times a very controversial topic–but it appears Medicare is ready to implement that change.  Currently they are gathering public comments and if approved, would take effect in January.

It’s a proposal applauded by many because they believe people should have a greater say about how many medical options they want used to stay alive such as a ventilator or feeding tube.

atul-beingmortal-cover3d1-319x479It’s a topic close to the heart for Dr. Atul Gawande, author of the book, “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End“.  He challenges people to think carefully about the decisions they make for themselves and their loved ones at the end of life.  In his book, he examines the loneliness, helplessness and boredom so often experienced by those living out the end of their lives in long-term care institutions and he argues that this should not be the norm in our country. He writes that Green House homes are “…designed to pursue that idea that a life worth living can be created…by focusing on food, homemaking, and befriending others.”

A final decision on the proposal is expected by early November.  It would allow qualified medical professionals to be reimbursed for face-to-face meetings with patients.  Read more about the plan using the following links:

New York Times  Medicare Plans to Pay Doctors for counseling on End of Life

McKnights  Providers Applaud CMS Proposal to Cover Advance Care Planning

NPR  Medicare Plans to Pay for Voluntary End-Of-Life Counseling