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Comprehensive End-of-Life Report Requested in Senate Bill

Posted Sep 22 2008 5:00am

The Consumer Health Education and Transparency Act of 2008, introduced last week by Sen. Salazar [CO] as S.3402 , calls for a Report concerning end-of-life care education and spending:

(a) Study- The Secretary, in consultation with the representatives described in subsection (c), shall conduct a comprehensive study of matters related to improved consumer education on end -of -life care decisions and spending. Such study shall evaluate issues including--

(1) consumer attitudes and questions regarding end -of -life care decisions;
(2) effective outreach methods to increase consumer understanding of end -of -life care considerations and tools for making end -of -life care decisions;
(3) methods for empowering consumers to ensure that their end -of -life care instructions are properly executed;
(4) the appropriate timing and venues for end -of -life care discussions between health care consumers and providers;
(5) ethical and legal considerations considered by consumers when making end -of -life care decisions;
(6) trends in end -of -life care spending and the impact of such spending on overall health care costs; and
(7) potential strategies for addressing any identified end -of -life care spending issues.
(b) Report- Not later than 18 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall submit to Congress, a report concerning the study conducted under subsection (a) together with the recommendations of the Secretary for legislative or administrative action where appropriate.

(c) Representatives- The representatives described in this subsection include representatives from the following groups, organizations, or associations:
(1) A senior citizen advocacy organization.
(2) A hospice organization.
(3) A physician-based hospice and palliative care organization.
(4) A home-health organization.
(5) A long-term care advocacy organization.
(6) A cancer research organization.
(7) A patient advocacy organization.
(8) A faith-based health care organization.
(9) A nurse-based medical association.
(10) A geriatrician-based medical association.
(11) An academic medical institution.
(12) A caregiver advocacy organization.
(13) A chronic disease advocacy organization.
(14) A disability rights advocacy organization.
(15) A social work association.
(16) A pediatric palliative care organization.
(17) A veterans health care organization.
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