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Anchor lead: Reducing healthcare costs at end of life can result in substantial boosts elsewhere, Elizabeth Tracey reports
Failure to make your own preferences known at the end of life isn’t just a personal decision, a new book called Preparing for a Better End, written by Dan Morehaim, an emergency medicine physician and former professor in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health argues, it also has enormous societal costs.
Morehaim: Medicare is $900 billion dollars, $300 billion is end of life care. If you save 10% you’d save a lot of money by respecting people’s rights and empowering them to have their values observed as opposed to the usual way we cut healthcare costs. We burden employers, taxpayers, employees, we raise copays. For no cost/low cost and respecting people’s values you could save a lot of money for the nation and then put that money into preventive healthcare, pediatrics, underserved populations, disabled, mental health, substance abuse, that would be a good way to get those funds. We’ve got to talk about it. :32
Morehaim notes that we’re all vested in these outcomes, so we all need to consider advance directives. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.