Discussions About End of Life Care Help Patients and Providers Be Prepared

The U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reports that only 12 percent of patients with an advance directive had received input from their physician in its development.

Healthcare providers should discuss options for care at the end of life with their patients. It is covered by Medicare and required by the Federal Patient Self-Determination Act that all Medicare-participating healthcare facilities inquire about and provide information to patients on advance directives.

An Advance Directive is a written statement of a person’s wishes regarding medical treatment, made to ensure those wishes are carried out should the person be unable to communicate them to a doctor.

National Healthcare Decision Week is April 16-22, 2018. atom Alliance encourages healthcare providers to assist patients and their family members with advance care plans.

Patients are often unable to express themselves when a crisis is at hand and a decision needs to be made about the care they want when facing a terminal illness. These voluntary conversations will help enable patients to end their lives on their own terms.

Now that discussions about advance care planning are a regular Medicare benefit, seniors and other Medicare beneficiaries are learning about healthcare options that are available for end-of-life care, such as advance directives, palliative care and hospice care. They can decide which types of care they would like to have, and share their wishes with their healthcare practitioners and family members.

You can learn more about National Healthcare Decision Week and find resources here: https://nationalhealthcare-decisi.squarespace.com/join#sign-up.

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