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Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Surpise!!

I am in Minneapolis and I have fallen in love!!  Her name is Vanessa Dayton and here is what she has to say in the Minneapolis Star Tribune today.

"I am a staff physician at two Minneapolis hospitals, and I know how we can reduce the budget deficit by hundreds of billions of dollars per year without raising taxes.  At any given time, there is usually at least one patient in every intensive  care unit in the Twin Cities who has irreversible dementia or end stage cancer and is being kept going for his or her last few weeks with mechanical life support paid for by Medicare--at a cost sometimes in excess of a quarter of a million dollars per week.

Why?   Because they don't have an Advanced Health Care Directive instructing care givers not to use aggressive measures if there is no hope for meaningful recovery.  It doesn't mean that someone won't be made comfortable in their final hours; it just means that they won't be hooked up to a bunch of painful tubes and noisy machines.

I've already done my part.  I have an Advanced Care Directive, and I have explained to my family members exactly what it means.  You should, too."

And here is why she is exactly right.  I have found four very good research studies on this topic (there is a lot of idiotic crap out there), and they all say the same thing.  They used different criteria, but all came to the same conclusion.  60% to 80% of ALL HEALTHCARE FUNDS SPENT IN THE UNITED STATES ARE SPENT DURING THE LAST TWO YEARS, TWO MONTHS, TWO WEEKS OF LIFE!!!

Go back and read that again.  It tells you almost everything you need to know to understand how to get healthcare expenditures under control.


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