Medicare already pays for these conversations when they’re part of a new enrollee’s “Welcome to Medicare” consult with a physician.But starting next month, under new reimbursement codes proposed by the American Medical Association, the planning sessions will be covered by Medicare no matter when patients want to have them.Health care professionals will be able to bill Medicare $86 for the first half hour of an advance planning conversation ($80 in a hospital) and $75 for an additional 30 minutes.
“This particular kind of conversation is at the intersection of two topics that medical schools have by and large avoided — end-of-life care and communication.” By contrast, Dr.
John Prescott, chief academic officer at the , says the country’s 145 medical schools have made “significant changes to their curriculum in both-end-of life care and communication.
One hundred percent of medical schools have required courses on palliative care.
There are few conversations between doctors and patients that are more important.” Still, “Do I think the American medical profession is totally up to speed and ready to have these discussions? “I still think we could improve medical education in this area.
Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., is downright effusive, calling a health care policy that takes effect Jan.
1 “profound” and nothing short of “revolutionary.” On that date, Medicare will greatly expand its reimbursement to health care providers who talk with their patients about end-of-life choices, also called “advance care planning.” It was Blumenauer who six years ago touched off the frenzy about health care rationing and so-called death panels when he introduced a provision to what would become the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).A leading advocate of personalized medicine, Blumenauer and a coalition of health care groups lobbied the federal government to widely reimburse providers for voluntary end-of-life discussions with patients.His provision was stripped from the ACA, and only this year did Medicare change its policy to increase coverage of advance care planning.There’s no doubt.” “Medical schools are improving in this area,” Block concedes. Doctors who conduct the wrong kind of conversation with their patients don’t get the key information about what’s important to the patient.” This particular kind of conversation is at the intersection of two topics that medical schools have by and large avoided — end-of-life care and communication. Susan Block “Here’s an example of something that happens all the time,” she continues.“The patient with a terminal illness is asked, ‘Do you want us to do everything to help you?’ What that means to the doctor is ‘Do you want resuscitation? Do you want to go through many intensive procedures that bring with them a certain amount of suffering?