The revised Medicare regulation to be released by the Obama administration will no longer include end-of-life planning with annual physical examinations. Although no longer covered, a White House official made sure to say that the amended regulation “should not affect beneficiaries’ ability to have these voluntary conversations with their doctors.” Thus, while many will still see these discussions as a necessity when determining a personal course for end-of-life, such conversations will no longer be covered under Medicare.
With all of the attention that health care reform has garnered from both the public and private sector, this issue will certainly spark debate, both pro and con. Ultimately, end-of-life care is a very personal discussion between doctor and patient. Regardless of Medicare funding, it will certainly remain an integral part of medical planning for many Americans.
Website Resource: U.S. Alters Rule on Paying for End-of-Life Planning New York Times, Robert Pear, January 4, 2011