Committee Seeking Major Overhaul for Health Care At End of Life

A 21-member, nonpartisan national committee put together by the Institute of Medicine recently concluded after some independent research that overhauls are necessary in the way the federal health care system handles end-of-life care. A spokesman for the committee remarked that the system is “poorly designed to meet the needs” of hospital patients who are near the end of their lives.

After issuing a 507-page report of its research findings, the committee provided some recommendations for changes. One of the biggest recommendations was made to insurers — the panel asked insurers to provide reimbursements to providers for conversations they have with patients about health care planning. Medicare is already considering doing that after a similar recent request from the American Medical Association. There are a few private insurers throughout the country covering these types of conversations, but many more likely would as well were Medicare to start doing so.

However, the panel did make some recommendations that would require action to be taken by congress. One of these recommendations was to completely overhaul the reimbursement structure to get better long-term care coverage for the elderly under Medicaid and to allow Medicare to pay for health services in the home rather than just placing an emphasis on hospital care.

The ultimate goal of this committee and report is to improve the quality of care that patients receive and to make it easier for doctors and health care providers to offer that quality while still getting the reimbursement they need from Medicare and Medicaid.

As these recommendations continue to gain momentum within the health care sphere and in the United States Legislature, reach out to a New Jersey health care reimbursement attorney with Buttaci Leardi & Werner, LLC to stay up to date with the latest advances in policy and to obtain the assistance you need with your reimbursement issues.

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