Thursday, August 6, 2009

"The Last Six Months"

Lately I keep seeing one idea repeated in regard to Medicare costs:
The Medicare system spends about 80 percent of its funds during a patient’s last six months of life.
This is brought up to say that we need to reconsider how much we're spending on end of life care.

The problem is, we don't know when someone's at the end of life. A 65-year-old man having a heart attack may only live three months even with the best of care, or he may have ten more years in him. Who's going to decide which way we should bet?

If we're not careful, government guidelines.


Vinny said...

Government guidelines for Medicare? Impossible!

ChrisB said...

The point being that government policy, not medical data, may be what determines when it's time to let a patient "die peacefully."

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