Care Planning Act of 2013

Senators Mark Warner (D-VA) and Johnny Isackson (R-GA) have introduced the Care Planning Act of 2013, which among other things expands funding by Medicare and Medicaid for “patient centered care planning” for people with serious illness. The recently introduced Hospice Help Act of 2013 is also bipartisan in nature.

The addition of funding for such discussions and modernization of the hospice benefit was a bipartisan notion before our country hit maximum full stupid 4 Augusts ago when such a provision in the ACA became death panels, pulling the plug on granny when members of Congress went home for recess. From an evidence based policy perspective, we are still trying to recover, and these bills are a start.

Le me give you a hint: granny is going to die, as are you and I,it is only a matter of when and from what.The provisions in these two bills simply help provide more evidence based options to people facing this reality. And around 8 in 10 people who die annually in the U.S. are Medicare beneficiaries, so Medicare is where the action will be on this sort of thing.

The tag hospice will get you dozens of posts on related issues.

This Health Affairs post of mine back in May, 2013 places the issues of end-of-life/hospice in the overall context of Medicare policy.

About Don Taylor
Professor of Public Policy (with appointments in Business, Nursing, Community and Family Medicine, and the Duke Clinical Research Institute), and Chair of the Academic Council at Duke University . I am one of the founding faculty of the Margolis Center for Health Policy. My research focuses on improving care for persons who are dying, and I am co-PI of a CMMI award in Community Based Palliative Care. I teach both undergrads and grad students at Duke. On twitter @donaldhtaylorjr

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