The Corner

Politics & Policy

Medicare to Cover End of Life Planning

It seems to me that this should be part of a physician’s job anyway, but in a technocracy, everything must be coded and tallied.

Thus, Medicare is planning on paying doctors to engage in advance planning and end-of-life discussions. From the Vox story:

Medicare rolled out new rules Wednesday (on page 246 of this document) that would reimburse physicians who talk to elderly patients about what options are available at the end of life — whether they would want life support, for example, or whether hospice care would be of interest. Doctors would get paid, under these new rules, for helping patients complete an advance directive.

The reimbursements would begin in 2016.

Sarah Palin once called such discussions “death panels”–they’re not.

She soon corrected herself to worry that Obamacare could lead to rationing as death panels. (It hasn’t. Yet. But there are abundant reasons to worry that it could.)

Note that this rule is buried in a hundreds of pages long regulatory document. That’s how we roll these days as a nation: Bureaucratically rather than democratically.

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