End Of Life Care : What Is Too Much Pay And Who Pays

1257 Words May 17th, 2016 6 Pages
End of life care: What is too much to pay and who pays
It is well known, all over the world that we humans will one day come to our eminent last day and die. Dying comes as no surprise, unfortunately the ever-growing cost of “staying alive” will surpass our dying days.
In 2009, Medicare paid $55 billion dollars for doctor and hospital bills of patients during the last two months of life. Inpatient Hospital charges were over $6,200 dollars per day, and $10,000 per day to maintain the patient in an ICU. Reimbursements at an average of $622 per day at skilled nursing facilities. Although Medicare spending in 2010 was $13 billion dollars for hospice, costing approximately $10,700 on average per patient. Payments made to hospice from Medicare is not limited, although it does enforce an aggregate cap for agencies, per beneficiary of $24,500 dollars. (Hospice end of life care, 2011. Bill Fay).
Ira Byock, M.D., chief medical officer of the Providence Institute for Human Caring tells Steve Kroft a correspondent of 60 Minutes that it costs up to $10,000 a day to maintain someone in the intensive care unit. Some patients remain here for weeks or even months.
"This is the way so many Americans die. Something like 18 to 20 percent of Americans spend their last days in an ICU and, you know, it 's extremely expensive. It 's uncomfortable. Many times they have to be sedated so that they don 't reflexively pull out a tube, or sometimes their hands are restrained. This is not the way most…
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