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End-of-life Counseling or Advanced Directives Are a Good Thing for Medicare But What Direction Would Health Insurers Drive It Fo

Posted Dec 28 2010 5:38pm

Patients and doctors have been preparing advanced directives and living wills for years and if kept in it’s proper context, it is a good thing and sure you want to have this conversation with a doctor you trust and feel capable of talking to you about it and takes the time, and thus so they should get paid. image

What we have seen unfortunately though is that normally for profit insurers follow the direction of Medicare much of the time and with what we have seen with their algorithmic formulas in cutting to drive profits, where will they go with this?  We cant’ trust and insurer to set their own standards in this issue as if there in an opportunity to cut cost and shield any monetary exposure, they will have a mother doing an advanced directive on a newborn baby before it gets out of the hospital.  This is not outrageous to think that they would not use this type of approach and think back of all the stories you have heard and here’s one that’s a good refresher.  Insurers live and die with the algorithms that generate dividends and thus so we have some created for accurate results and those that create “desired” results (profits in other words). 

Already in some instances peer groups at hospital can’t understand what the insurers want.

Hospitalists, Peer Committees and Utilization Struggle to Comprehend United HealthCare Algorithms

If the GOP could see this in its correct context and understand what commercial carriers could do with this, then we might all be able to come back to earth again.

Congress better line up some good “Algo Men” to stay on top of what is occurring here, otherwise laws quickly become useless and non enforceable and we all are looking pretty stupid today.  I have my mother’s advanced directive and actually we have it stored in her personal health record so both she and I have access.  We did the advanced directive over 10 years ago, again this needs to be kept in the proper context and out of the rhetoric of the folks living in the 70s.  How many members of Congress have prepared an advanced directive I wonder?  BD 

The New York Times reported over the weekend that a provision of health care reform legislation that was abandoned after it became the focus of conservative outrage is making a return, this time as part of a new policy outlined in a Medicare regulation.

Voluntary counseling on end-of-life decisions was attacked by conservative pundits and politicians throughout the debate over health care reform, eventually labeled as “death panels.” The service would require Medicare to pay for end-of-life counseling sessions for anyone who requests them. The false claim that the provision would give government the power to decide whether seniors and the disabled were worthy of care became so prevalent in some circles that the Pulitzer-Prize winning PolitiFact website labeled it 2009′s “ Lie of the Year .”

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