Beginning January 1, 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid will reimburse health care providers for discussions with Medicare patients about the type of medical care they want at the end of their lives. The new rule will affect about 50 million Medicare patients, and some private insurers have already adopted this practice. The nursing home negligence lawyers at Pintas & Mullins explain this new rule below.
The rule was initially proposed as part of the Affordable Care Act, however, it was vehemently opposed by Republican politicians who believed it would cause doctors to ration care to save costs. Due to the opposition, the rule was stripped from the final bill in 2009. Fortunately, the proposal is not triggering the same type of resistance this time around and has in fact gained bipartisan support, along with support from physician and hospice organizations.