The recent report from a panel selected by the Institute of Medicine is spurring some debate about end-of-life-care, powers of attorney, medical directives, and related topics. Here’s an article that summarizes some key points of the report but mostly explains how LaCrosse, Wisconsin was able to establish a program under which about 86% of its residents have advanced directives or similar documents covering their end-of-life care.
It is projected that total U.S. health care expenditures will reach $5 trillion by 2022 from its current level of $3 trillion. According to the National Institue of Health ”as of 2012, 5 percent of the most seriously ill Americans accounted for more than 50 percent of health care spending, with most costs incurred in the last year of life as a result of hospital-based treatment.” Nearly 30% of all Medicare spending occurs during the last six months of a patient’s life. The extrapolations for end-of-life care in the future are truly sobering.