One lawmaker has reintroduced his bill that would pay Medicare doctors for having "end-of-life" conversations with patients -- an idea that has bitterly divided Congress in the past. In the meantime, another lawmaker wants to change -- and simplify -- Medicare's reimbursement coding system.
Politico: The 'Death Panel' Bill Lives
The bill is back. Or rather, it's never gone away. Each Congress, [ Rep. Earl] Blumenauer [D-Ore.] reintroduces it. He's even added a few new elements, for instance to make sure that care preferences are incorporated into electronic medical records, not just stuffed in someone's bedside table. He's picked up 15 co-sponsors, including a few Republicans. Among them is Tennessee Rep. Phil Roe, an outspoken member of the conservative House GOP Doctors Caucus, which helps drive an unwavering opposition to Obamacare (Kenen, 7/21).
The Hill: Citing Turkeys, House Republican Seeks To Change Medicare Policy
A Texas Republican is seeking to change a new Medicare reimbursement system that has different payment categories for a turkey bite and a turkey peck. An international coding system, which medical professionals must adopt by October of next year, has at least nine reimbursement codes for treating "turkey contact" injuries (Hooper, 7/21).