The trend to encourage Americans to get their Advance Directive in order has reached Washington D.C.
One U.S. Senator has been working to change the fact that fewer than 30% of Americans have their Advance Directives in place. His strategy is to pay people $75 to write one.
A story in Time magazine outlines a recently introduced bill by Senator Tom Coburn, called the Medicare Choices Empowerment and Protection Act, which would give seniors cash for putting together their Advance Directives.
The bill, if passed, would allow people on Medicare to receive a $75 from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for completing an online Advance Directive, and $50 for manually creating one.
“Many people want to complete Advance Directives, but they procrastinate because it requires the unpleasant task of thinking about your own mortality,” says Dr. Scott Halpern. “A new approach might help patients receive the type of care that they want.”
The story cites a recent study that proves Medicare costs go down when people put their End-of-Life medical wishes in writing. The 2011 study of more than 3,000 Medicare beneficiaries also found Advance Directives help:
• Lower the risk of dying in a hospital
• Lead to a higher use of hospice care
The reality is a large chunk of Medicare spending already goes to End-of-Life care. The study reported $170 billion of the $554 billion Medicare budget in 2011 went to pay for patients’ last six months of life.
“The hospice community is in favor of anything that incentivizes the conversation,” says Angie Truesdale, vice president of National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. “The only way it could be stronger is if they would incent patients to revisit it every year.”
You won’t get paid for it, but you can begin writing your own Advance Directive here at Passare right now.
Read the story here.