The New Yorker recently published an article entitled Letting Go by Atul Gawande. It is very readable and gives a clear idea of what hospice and palliative medicine are about.
A recent article in the New York Times discussed a study by The New England Journal of Medicine regarding the positive effects of Palliative Care.
National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization provides news update regarding new benefit for Medicare Beneficiaries regarding Advanced Care Planning Consultation - See below
- Beneficiaries could elect to have the consultation as part of the annual “wellness exam.”
- It would be reimbursable under Medicare, just like other Medicare consultations.
- Research has shown that patient discussions with their physicians results in a higher quality of life for patients and family caregivers.
- It may cover the broad spectrum of care and options when facing a serious or life-limiting illness.
- The consultation is with a physician—and in many cases may be the same healthcare professional the Medicare beneficiary has been seeing for years.
- Discussing advance care planning before a beneficiary finds him or herself in a medical crisis will help ensure the patient gets the care that he or she wants.
- In 2008 legislation was signed into law that allowed end-of-life planning to be part of a patient’s “welcome to Medicare” exam.
- Healthcare reform turned the “welcome visit” into an annual “wellness visit.”
- It’s not about limiting or rationing care;
- it’s not about hastening death;
- it’s not about having choices made for the patient; and
- it’s not about saving money.