Monthly Archives: November 2015

End-of-life Care Planning

Rule creates separate billing codes for advance care planning

The Obama administration on Friday issued a final rule that will allow Medicare to reimburse physicians for having advance care planning conversations with patients. CMS finalized the rule as part of its Medicare Physician Fee Schedule for calendar year (CY) 2016. The rule will take effect Jan. 1, 2016.

Read the article

Why Are We Short of Nurses?

nurseThere is an outcry in the United States that we’re facing an urgent nurse deficit that threatens the safety of individual patients and the nation’s health as a whole. Consider arguments from two Times editorials. “The nationwide shortage of nurses is likely to reach crisis proportions…. There is not much chance for permanent relief until the nursing profession is made more attractive to young people through better salaries, working conditions and public recognition,” one reads. In another, titled “We Need More Nurses,” Alexandra Robbins warns of dire consequences in the absence of a larger nursing workforce: “The more patients assigned to a nurse, the higher the patients’ risk of death, infections, complications, falls, failure-to-rescue rates and readmission to the hospital—and the longer their hospital stay.”

Read the article by James Ledbetter from The New Yorker