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Poll: What Stops You From Talking End-of-Life Care With Your Doctor?

New reimbursement for doctors opens a door to advance care planning

By Denise Logeland and SCAN Foundation

Beginning this month, Medicare will pay doctors more often for the time they spend helping people plan for late-life care. That typically includes filling out an advance care directive and choosing a proxy to speak for you in case you can’t.

But the conversation can include more, like your wishes about the quality of life you want, or the setting — home? hospital?— where you want to spend your final days.

Most people say having this talk with a doctor is a good idea: 89 percent in one recent survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation. But in the same survey, only 17 percent of people said they’d actually had the conversation. Why the huge gap?

We’re asking you:

Denise Logeland is a writer and editor in Minneapolis who has covered business, health and health care. She is the author of Next Avenue's ebook, 10 Things Every Family Should Know: Aging With Dignity and Independence. Read More
By SCAN Foundation
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