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End-of-Life Planning at the Medicare Initial Preventive Physical Examination

Posted Jan 14 2009 5:56pm
Starting January 1, 2009, the theMedicare IPPEor "Welcome to Medicare Physical Exam" includes end-of-life planning as a required service, upon the beneficiary’s consent. 
End-of-life planning is verbal or written information provided to the beneficiary regarding:
  • The beneficiary’s ability to prepare an advance directive in the case that an injury or illness causes the beneficiary to be unable to make health care decisions, and
  • Whether or not the physician is willing to follow the beneficiary’s wishes as expressed in the advance directive.
Of course, since this is probably the first Medicare service for most patients, it is likely the patient will pay out of pocket as part of her/his Part B deductible.   But the most serious limitation of this benefit is that beneficiaries can only take advantage of thisone-timewithin their first six months of Medicare Part B coverage.  
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