Third Way Releases New Policy Proposal on Advance Care Planning

September 29, 2015

Plan would change incentives to ensure patients get the care they want

WASHINGTON – Today Third Way released a new health care policy proposal, A Better End of Life, which looks at how incentives are shaping health care at the end of life and offers a series of policy proposals to change incentives away from waste and toward care that patients want. Third Way highlights that without an advance directive (AD), an individual is more likely to receive unwanted, aggressive care, and physicians and family members are less likely to follow that person’s preferences for medical treatment. Like the other health care proposals Third Way has released throughout the year, the policy recommendations are built from innovative ideas pioneered by health care professionals and organizations, and show how to scale successful pilots from red and blue states.

“Advance directives give us a voice in our health care when we can’t speak for ourselves,” said Third Way Senior Fellow for Health and Fiscal Policy David Kendall. “But they are usually hidden away from doctors in a filing cabinet at home. Everyone needs an advance directive that is as readily available as the emergency contact information on a cell phone or the organ donation information on a driver’s license.”

“One of the most difficult and challenging situations any family faces is dealing with circumstances surrounding the end of life,” said U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer. “Our policies should encourage and empower patients to be actively involved in their health care decision making. It is critical that our health care system places value on meaningful conversations between patients and their medical providers about end-of-life preferences. Approximately 75 percent of Americans lack an advance directive, a fact that makes clear we must continue to raise awareness and further the national dialogue on this issue to make sure all individuals receive medical treatment consistent with their values, goals, and informed preferences.”

“I am pleased and encouraged to see Third Way taking time to research this important issue,” said U.S. Representative Ron Kind. “Western Wisconsin local health centers, including Gunderson Health and the Mayo Clinic, have been pioneering programs that empower patients to have vital conversations about end of life care with their physicians. As we move toward a more value based health system we need to continue to look at the best ways to help patients and their families have a role in the decision making process.”

Third Way’s report may be found here.

Press Contacts

Ladan Ahmadi

Senior Media Relations Manager

202-384-1718

lahmadi@thirdway.org

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