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Medicare recently announced plans to reimburse doctors for end-of-life discussions with their patients. This is a welcome and long-overdue development. End-of-life issues are complex, and discussing your wishes with a health care professional can give you the information you need to decide what you want when such an issue arises. It also helps to establish and make known what your wishes are, so that even if you are not able to express your wishes at the time a decision is needed, they are already known.

Social conservatives had opposed making the management of end-of-life decisions an official part of the health care system. They fear that death panels will pull the plug on granny if it is deemed too expensive to keep her alive. Yet informing patients about what their options are is crucial if patients wish to maintain control over their care. These discussions are an educational process that is as individual as the patient, since every persons situation is different. If such discussions do not take place, and the patient has not made known his or her wishes, end-of-life care can end up defaulting to health care providers who do not even know the patient, let alone know what the patients wishes are.

The bottom line is education and information are key components to maintaining control of your health care. Lamson and Cutner is dedicated to educating its clients about the financial aspects of health care, so they can maintain control in that area of their lives as well, and gain the peace of mind that goes along with knowing they have done everything possible to maximize their well-being.

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