In 1965—when Medicare was signed into law—most people died in their homes and life-sustaining treatments were largely the stuff of fiction and experimental research.
Major advances in health technology have changed that, helping people to live longer, but not necessarily better, lives. Modern medicine often means that people die tethered to tubes and machines in situations they likely would not have chosen—if only they had known.
So when Medicare recently announced plans to reimburse providers for time spent counseling patients and their caregivers about the kind of care patients would want to receive near the end of their lives, as health care researchers and clinicians we couldn’t help thinking: It’s about time. Read the rest of the piece here.