The Physician's Responsibility Under the New Medicare Reimbursement for Hospice Care
New England Journal of Medicine. 1984 Apr 5; 310(14): 920-922.
Two physicians express concern over reimbursement restrictions in new federal legislation providing Medicare coverage for hospice care. Under current proposals, the maximum reimbursement period for such care is 210 days, and physicians must certify that their patients have 6 months or less to live before the latter become eligible for hospice services. Inaccurate prognoses may have serious implications for patient well-being, physician liability, and the financial stability of hospice programs. Since length of survival is very difficult to predict, the authors propose a way by which physicians can avoid making invalid prognostications while drawing attention to the inadequacies of the reimbursement system. (KIE abstract)
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