Medical Futility Blog: Health Law at APHA Annual Meeting

This morning, I reviewed the significant number of law-related sessions at November’s American Public Health Law Association meeting.  I really must add APHA to my list (now 5 long) of “must go” health law conferences.

via Medical Futility Blog: Health Law at APHA Annual Meeting.

Billing for end of life conversations needs to be an honest discussion

Good old Earl Blumenauer.  A bespectacled and bowtied Congressman from Oregon.  He of the “death panel” proposal.  Thank God he’s still here.  Presuming that the crazy talk over the provision in the Affordable Care Act that would have paid doctors to discuss end-of-life issues with patients is over, he has introduced a separate bill with this provision and hopes to get it passed in the next couple of years.

via Billing for end of life conversations needs to be an honest discussion.

OIG Recommends More Hospice Surveys — blog.weatherbee.net

The OIG continues to recommend that CMS increase the frequency of hospice recertification surveys.  On August 29, 2013 the OIG published a new hospice report  (OEI-06-13-00130) entitled the Frequency of Medicare Certification Surveys is Unimproved.

via OIG Recommends More Hospice Surveys — blog.weatherbee.net.

Federal government will not challenge state laws on marijuana | BMJ

Federal government will not challenge state laws on marijuana | BMJ.

Discussing Physician-Assisted Dying: Physicians’ Experiences in the United States and the Netherlands

Discussion of PAD is an energy-consuming, yet potentially enriching part of the doctor–patient relationship. Legal guidelines may help to provide structure and support for physicians when patients broach the topic of PAD.

via Discussing Physician-Assisted Dying: Physicians’ Experiences in the United States and the Netherlands.

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Quebec’s end-of-life bill makes palliative care more transparent

via Sign In.

Medical Futility Blog: Vermont’s New Normal: End-of-Life Care & Physician Aid in Dying

On October 29, 2013, the Vermont Ethics Network is holding a day-long discussion about end-of-life care in Vermont with the passage of Act  39 (Vermont’s new law on patient choice and control at the end-of-life).  The day’s presentations will focus on:

via Medical Futility Blog: Vermont’s New Normal: End-of-Life Care & Physician Aid in Dying.

Medical Futility Blog: Texas Futility Law Protects Clinicians’ Conscience Rights

What I found interesting (even surprising) is the Texas Catholic Conference’s opposition to H.B. 1464.  They support the status quo in section 166.046, not only because because it helps prevent over-treatment but also because it protects the conscience-based objections of clinicians.

via Medical Futility Blog: Texas Futility Law Protects Clinicians’ Conscience Rights.

Federal Register | Medicare Program; FY 2014 Hospice Wage Index and Payment Rate Update; Hospice Quality Reporting Requirements; and Updates on Payment Reform

This final rule updates the hospice payment rates and the wage index for fiscal year (FY) 2014, and continues the phase out of the wage index budget neutrality adjustment factor (BNAF).

via Federal Register | Medicare Program; FY 2014 Hospice Wage Index and Payment Rate Update; Hospice Quality Reporting Requirements; and Updates on Payment Reform.

Palliative care, storytelling and the law

Amongst other things, Dr Frank Brennan is a passionate storyteller and gifted palliative care physician. ehospice caught up with Dr Brennan ahead of his address at the 12th Australian Palliative Care Conference to be held on 3-6 September.

via Palliative care, storytelling and the law.