KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

New Life For ‘Death Panel’ Bill, But Same Fights Loom

One lawmaker has reintroduced his bill that would pay Medicare doctors for having "end-of-life" conversations with patients -- an idea that has bitterly divided Congress in the past. In the meantime, another lawmaker wants to change -- and simplify -- Medicare's reimbursement coding system.

Politico: The 'Death Panel' Bill Lives
The bill is back. Or rather, it's never gone away. Each Congress, [ Rep. Earl] Blumenauer [D-Ore.] reintroduces it. He's even added a few new elements, for instance to make sure that care preferences are incorporated into electronic medical records, not just stuffed in someone's bedside table. He's picked up 15 co-sponsors, including a few Republicans. Among them is Tennessee Rep. Phil Roe, an outspoken member of the conservative House GOP Doctors Caucus, which helps drive an unwavering opposition to Obamacare (Kenen, 7/21).

The Hill: Citing Turkeys, House Republican Seeks To Change Medicare Policy
A Texas Republican is seeking to change a new Medicare reimbursement system that has different payment categories for a turkey bite and a turkey peck. An international coding system, which medical professionals must adopt by October of next year, has at least nine reimbursement codes for treating "turkey contact" injuries (Hooper, 7/21). 

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