Expert Panel: End-Of-Life Care In U.S. Needs Improvement
The 21-member Institute of Medicine panel concluded in its new report that incentives exist within the health system that often run contrary to dying patients' wishes. More conversations and planning are among the recommendations.
The New York Times: Panel Urges Overhauling Health Care At End Of Life
The country’s system for handling end-of-life care is largely broken and should be overhauled at almost every level, a national panel concluded in a report released on Wednesday. The 21-member nonpartisan committee, appointed by the Institute of Medicine, the independent research arm of the National Academy of Sciences, called for sweeping change (Belluck, 9/17).
Kaiser Health News: Dying In America Is Harder Than It Has To Be, IOM Says
The report suggests that the first end-of-life conversation could coincide with a cherished American milestone: getting a driver's license at 16, the first time a person weighs what it means to be an organ donor. Follow-up conversations with a counselor, nurse or social worker should come at other points early in life, such as turning 18 or getting married. The idea, according to the IOM, is to "help normalize the advance care planning process by starting it early, to identify a health care agent, and to obtain guidance in the event of a rare catastrophic event" (Gold, 9/17).
The Washington Post’s Wonk Blog: It’s Time To Bury The ‘Death Panel’ Myth For Good. Is This The Way To Do It?
Behind all the charts and policymaking lies an uncomfortable truth about health care: We are all going to die someday, and the health-care system's ultimate challenge is to make that certainty as painless and as peaceful as possible. A rational and responsible national conversation about preparing for death and end-of-life care has been virtually impossible over the past five years because of the "death panel" myth that erupted during the heated health-care debate of 2009. But a new report from independent experts at the Institute of Medicine may revive the conversation about preparing patients for the end (Millman, 9/17).
The Wall Street Journal: End-Of-Life Care In U.S. Is Lacking, Report Says
End-of-life conversations with medical providers should be covered by insurers and Medicare, said the report by the Institute of Medicine, an independent organization and the research branch of the National Academy of Sciences. One impetus behind the study was concerns raised in 2009 about "death panels," a term that sprung up during political debates about what became the Affordable Care Act (Armour, 9/17).
The Associated Press: Study: Americans Endure Unwanted Care Near Death
The “Dying in America” study released Wednesday was done by a panel of 21 experts. It finds that people repeatedly stress a desire to die at home, free from pain, but often the opposite happens. The authors blame a medical system ruled by “perverse incentives” for aggressive care, inadequate physician training and too few conversations about end-of-life wishes (9/17).
Reuters: U.S. Needs Better End-Of-life Care, Which Might Cut Costs – Study
The United States needs to improve its medical care for people nearing death, a move that might cut rising healthcare costs, an Institute of Medicine (IOM) study said on Wednesday. The 507-page "Dying in America" study is aimed at opening a debate on how the U.S. healthcare system treats Americans nearing death and urges comprehensive care to improve the quality of life in their final days. The study was spurred by allegations that under the 2010 Affordable Care Act doctors who would advise patients about end-of-life issues would be part of "death panels" that would judge who would live and who would die. The proposal never became law (Simpson, 9/17).
San Jose Mercury News: Institute Of Medicine Urges Reforms To Improve Care For Dying People
An influential national institute has prescribed a powerful cure for America's approach to dying, saying that today's health care system is ill-equipped to provide the comfort and care so cherished in our final days. The long-awaited report released Wednesday by the Institute of Medicine recommends that regular end-of-life conversations become part of patients' primary care, starting at age 18 and that doctors should be paid for time spent on these discussions -- a controversial initiative eliminated from President Barack Obama's health care law (Krieger, 9/17).
Politico Pro: IOM Report Urges Better End-Of-Life Care
It’s time to put the damaging “death panel” debate away for good and push the American health care system to provide high-quality end-of-life care that matches what dying people want for themselves and their families, a panel convened by the Institute of Medicine said Wednesday. “The time is now,” said IOM President Victor Dzau, introducing the far-reaching recommendations of a report titled “Dying in America.” The 500-page report stresses better education about end-of-life care for a breadth of medical professionals — not just specialists in palliative care or hospice — and far more integration of medical and social services for patients and family caregivers. It says good care needs to be available and accessible 24/7 (Kenen, 9/17).