The trick to knowing what your chronically ill patients want near the end of life is to have the goals-of-care conversation early, regularly and matter-of-factly. VITAS can help. So can these seven facts about advance directives:
- Everyone over 18 should have them.
- They give patients control of their medical care if they can’t speak for themselves.
- They’re billable; Medicare reimburses you $86 to discuss end-of-life care with patients.
- The conversation is easier when the patient is healthy and alert.
- By 2030, one-fifth of the US population will be 65 or older.
- Your patients are waiting for you to start the conversation.
- Isn’t it time you had one with your own primary care physician?
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