Physicians Are Now Paid to Discuss End-Of-Life Care With Patients

Talking about your own death is not easy or enjoyable for most people.  Chances are, you know you should have this conversation but have put it off.  There is no time like the present!

What is end-of-life care planning?

It involves discussing your health care wishes, like whether you would want life sustaining treatment, and who should make those decisions for you if you cannot.  Your choices are formalized in legal documents known as a Health Care Power of Attorney, Living will and HIPAA Release. 

Why should I do it?

One of the most important benefits of advance planning is the guidance provided to your loved ones, relieving them of a heavy burden during an already difficult time.  You will also gain the peace of mind that comes with knowing your loved ones and doctors will honor your specific wishes.

How do I make those decisions?

A reputable estate planning attorney is essential to guide you through the process, offer advice and draw up the documents.  You may also want to contact your doctor for additional information about potential medical implications of each health care choice.  

How does the new law help?

In the past, busy physicians did not have an economic incentive to have end-of-life care discussions with Medicare patients because they could not bill for them. Starting this year, doctors are now paid (in 1/2 hour increments) for speaking with Medicare patients and their loved ones about this important topic. No co-pay is due when the discussion occurs during an annual wellness visit (but may at other times). 

Get Going!

Take this opportunity to get started - contact us at Loftus Law Offices, PLLC today!