Thursday, July 9, 2015

Paying Healthcare Providers to Tell Their Patients to Kill Themselves

More on a proposed new rule for medical practitioners. WSJ makes it clear the direction Obamacare is going:
The federal government is proposing to pay health-care providers for talking to Medicare beneficiaries about end-of-life care after mounting calls for a better approach to conversations about dying that can both save costs and improve patient care.

The rule proposed Wednesday would reimburse doctors, nurse practitioners and some others in the health industry for discussions about end-of-life care, which was championed last year in a report by the Institute of Medicine, an independent advisory body.

Efforts to provide compensation to providers who hold such consultations ran into opposition in 2009, after mostly Republican opponents of what would become the Affordable Care Act said the law would lead to “death panels” tasked with seeking out cost savings by rationing care. A provision to pay physicians for such end-of-life counseling was stripped from the final bill.

Some doctors now hold such conversations, which often can be lengthy discussions about what type of lifesaving measures patients would want, without getting paid. The hope is that offering reimbursement will encourage physicians to speak frankly with patients about what they want and allow patients to engage in more frequent advance-care planning. 
“For Medicare beneficiaries who choose to pursue it, advance care planning is a service that includes early conversations between patients and their practitioners, both before an illness progresses and during the course of treatment, to decide on the type of care that is right for them,” a fact sheet from the federal government said.
Translation: Advance care planning really comes down to this: "What parameters do you want to set where we kill you?"


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