Doctors don’t get paid for discussing end-of-life care with Medicare patients. That’s true whether the patient wants heroic measures taken to extend life in the hospital, or hospice care in the home. So, this morning’s WSJ notes, many doctors supported a provision in the big House health-care bill that would have paid physicians for talking to patients who chose to have discussions with their doctors about end-of-life care. But the outcry over the provision, amid assertions that a government “death panel” would decide whether patients live or die, has prompted the all-important Senate Finance Committee to exclude such a provision from their bill, the WSJ reports. That’s a disappointment to the AMA. “We were delighted to see this in the legislation,” Cecil Wilson, the group’s president-elect, told the paper. He described the opposition to the provision as “one of the more egregious examples of mischaracterization that I have seen.”
For more of my thoughts on end of life care, see this post.