Over the next five years, hospices in 40 states will offer end-of-life care and counseling to dying Medicare patients at the same time those patients receive treatment to extend their lives. Typically, patients who are terminally ill must choose one or the other. (AP)
“Beginning next year, the federal government will conduct a five-year, 40-state experiment to determine whether there is a better way to help elderly Americans come to grips with terminal illnesses and prepare to die.
“Last month, the Obama administration announced that 141 hospices across the country will offer end-of-life care and counseling to dying Medicare patients at the same time those patients receive treatment to extend their lives. Currently Medicare, the federal health insurance system for people older than 65 or with certain disabilities, requires terminally ill patients to choose one or the other.
“Hospice services typically involve a team of doctors, nurses, social workers, bereavement counselors, aides and volunteers who address the physical, social, emotional and spiritual needs of dying patients and their families.”
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