Friday, July 24, 2009

Section 1233 of H.R.3200

(Be sure to read the other posts on health care "reform" by clicking here.)

H.R. 3200 America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 has a section (1233) that will require senior citizens to meet with their physicians/nurse practitioners every 5 years to discuss living wills, durable powers of attorney, end-of-life services (like hospice), orders regarding life-sustaining treatment, and health care proxy.

Even if those senior citizens are active and in perfect health, they will be forced to see their physicians every 5 years to discuss how they are going to end their lives. What could be more depressing and life-shortening experience than that? (And when did physicians get training to double as attorneys?)

What's more, after reading the Section, "orders regarding life-sustaining treatment" does not seem to mean "orders to provide life-sustaining treatment". It seems to say that consultation will be provided so that everyone involved will understand why an order to provide or withhold such treatment is issued.

Here are relevant parts of the Section. If you want to read the whole Section or the whole Bill for that matter, go to the Library of Congress THOMAS, and type in the bill number (H.R. 3200).

Section 1233. Advanced Care Planning Consultation [emphasis is mine]

`(hhh)(1) Subject to paragraphs (3) and (4), the term `advance care planning consultation' means a consultation between the individual and a practitioner described in paragraph (2) regarding advance care planning, if, subject to paragraph (3), the individual involved has not had such a consultation within the last 5 years. Such consultation shall include the following:

`(A) An explanation by the practitioner of advance care planning, including key questions and considerations, important steps, and suggested people to talk to.

`(B) An explanation by the practitioner of advance directives, including living wills and durable powers of attorney, and their uses.

`(C) An explanation by the practitioner of the role and responsibilities of a health care proxy.

`(D) The provision by the practitioner of a list of national and State-specific resources to assist consumers and their families with advance care planning, including the national toll-free hotline, the advance care planning clearinghouses, and State legal service organizations (including those funded through the Older Americans Act of 1965).

`(E) An explanation by the practitioner of the continuum of end-of-life services and supports available, including palliative care and hospice, and benefits for such services and supports that are available under this title.

`(F)(i) Subject to clause (ii), an explanation of orders regarding life sustaining treatment or similar orders, which shall include--

`(I) the reasons why the development of such an order is beneficial to the individual and the individual's family and the reasons why such an order should be updated periodically as the health of the individual changes;

`(II) the information needed for an individual or legal surrogate to make informed decisions regarding the completion of such an order; and

`(III) the identification of resources that an individual may use to determine the requirements of the State in which such individual resides so that the treatment wishes of that individual will be carried out if the individual is unable to communicate those wishes, including requirements regarding the designation of a surrogate decisionmaker (also known as a health care proxy).

`(ii) The Secretary shall limit the requirement for explanations under clause (i) to consultations furnished in a State--

`(I) in which all legal barriers have been addressed for enabling orders for life sustaining treatment to constitute a set of medical orders respected across all care settings; and

`(II) that has in effect a program for orders for life sustaining treatment described in clause (iii).

`(iii) A program for orders for life sustaining treatment for a States described in this clause is a program that--

`(I) ensures such orders are standardized and uniquely identifiable throughout the State;

`(II) distributes or makes accessible such orders to physicians and other health professionals that (acting within the scope of the professional's authority under State law) may sign orders for life sustaining treatment;

`(III) provides training for health care professionals across the continuum of care about the goals and use of orders for life sustaining treatment; and

`(IV) is guided by a coalition of stakeholders includes representatives from emergency medical services, emergency department physicians or nurses, state long-term care association, state medical association, state surveyors, agency responsible for senior services, state department of health, state hospital association, home health association, state bar association, and state hospice association.

------------------------------
[More on "order regarding life sustaining treatment" in the same Section]

`(5)(A) For purposes of this section, the term `order regarding life sustaining treatment' means, with respect to an individual, an actionable medical order relating to the treatment of that individual that--

`(i) is signed and dated by a physician (as defined in subsection (r)(1)) or another health care professional (as specified by the Secretary and who is acting within the scope of the professional's authority under State law in signing such an order, including a nurse practitioner or physician assistant) and is in a form that permits it to stay with the individual and be followed by health care professionals and providers across the continuum of care;

`(ii) effectively communicates the individual's preferences regarding life sustaining treatment, including an indication of the treatment and care desired by the individual;

`(iii) is uniquely identifiable and standardized within a given locality, region, or State (as identified by the Secretary); and

`(iv) may incorporate any advance directive (as defined in section 1866(f)(3)) if executed by the individual.

`(B) The level of treatment indicated under subparagraph (A)(ii) may range from an indication for full treatment to an indication to limit some or all or specified interventions. Such indicated levels of treatment may include indications respecting, among other items--

`(i) the intensity of medical intervention if the patient is pulse less, apneic, or has serious cardiac or pulmonary problems;

`(ii) the individual's desire regarding transfer to a hospital or remaining at the current care setting;

`(iii) the use of antibiotics; and

`(iv) the use of artificially administered nutrition and hydration.'.


I would love to know if the author at Minyanville who painted a rosy health care future for us yesterday still insists that the government is a backstop. He probably will, because he probably will be too busy to be bothered by facts.

4 comments:

Jeff said...

"H.R. 3200 America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 has a section (1233) that will require senior citizens to meet with their physicians/nurse practitioners"

As far as I can tell, that's a lie. There's no requirement in here at all to attend such a consultation. This section out lines the RIGHT, under the plan, to have such a meeting every 5 years.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

I can't find anywhere in the Section that says this is a right, therefore it is optional.

marry said...

Blogs are so informative where we get lots of information on any topic. Nice job keep it up!!
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Philip said...

I agree, I see a lot of use of the word may, none of must.

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