WBRZ http://www.wbrz.com/ WBRZ 2 Your Health 2 Your Health en-us Copyright 2014, WBRZ. All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Sat, 22 Nov 2014 15:11:45 GMT Synapse CMS 10 WBRZ http://www.wbrz.com/ 144 25 Baton Rouge walks for St. Jude http://www.wbrz.com/news/baton-rouge-walks-for-st-jude/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/baton-rouge-walks-for-st-jude/ 2 Your Health Fri, 21 Nov 2014 6:01:33 AM Hunter Robinson Baton Rouge walks for St. Jude

BATON ROUGE - Thousands will walk in Baton Rouge this weekend to thank St. Jude at the annual Give Thanks Walk. News 2's John Pastorek got a preview this morning for Breakfast with 2une In.

St. Jude Research Hospital in Memphis give many families hope in the face of some life threatening illnesses. Walker check-in begins at 7 a.m. Saturday at BREC's Highland Road Community Park (14024 Highland Rd.). The walk begins at 9 a.m.

JP also got to try some delicious chargrilled oysters, burgers and more from the guys at City Cafe.

Click on the video links, visit out 2une In page or visit the St. Jude Thanks Walk website for more information.


Permalink| Comments

Paraplegic adventure athlete refuses to slow down http://www.wbrz.com/news/paraplegic-adventure-athlete-refuses-to-slow-down/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/paraplegic-adventure-athlete-refuses-to-slow-down/ 2 Your Health Thu, 20 Nov 2014 5:48:54 AM Hunter Robinson Paraplegic adventure athlete refuses to slow down

BATON ROUGE - A motivational athlete visited Baton Rouge this week to encourage you to get up and get moving.

Mark Wellman was paralyzed in a mountain climbing accident, but he hasn't let that stop him from doing what he loves. He visited the Baton Rouge Rehab Center Tuesday and climbed a rock wall to show what you can do if you put your mind to it.

"These people have gone through an accident or an illness," Wellman says. "They've lost something they're used to having."

Wellman was the first paraplegic to climb El Capitain, an 3,200 ft. tall granite cliff in Yosemite National Park. The treck took him eight days and over 7,000 pull-ups! He was also a member of the U.S. Disabled Ski Team and carried the flaming torch up an 120 ft. rope to light the cauldron for the 1996 Paralympic Games in Atlanta.

Click on the video link for more information.


Permalink| Comments

Early statin use may give long-term heart benefits http://www.wbrz.com/news/early-statin-use-may-give-long-term-heart-benefits/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/early-statin-use-may-give-long-term-heart-benefits/ 2 Your Health Wed, 19 Nov 2014 11:55:54 AM Marilynn Marchione Early statin use may give long-term heart benefits

CHICAGO - Research shows that taking a cholesterol-lowering drug for five years in middle age can lower heart and death risks for decades afterward. The benefits seem to grow over time and may last for life.

The news comes from 20-year follow-up of a study in Scotland that was the first to show that taking a statin helped prevent heart attacks and deaths in people who had not yet developed clogged arteries.

Half of the men in the study took the statin for five years and the rest, dummy pills. A similar portion of both groups took statins after the study ended. Heart attacks and deaths remain far fewer among those who started on them at the outset.

The study was discussed this week at an American Heart Association conference.

Permalink| Comments

The uphill battle to survive pancreatic cancer http://www.wbrz.com/news/the-uphill-battle-to-survive-pancreatic-cancer/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/the-uphill-battle-to-survive-pancreatic-cancer/ 2 Your Health Wed, 19 Nov 2014 6:31:09 AM Rebecca Buchanan & Hunter Robinson The uphill battle to survive pancreatic cancer

DENHAM SPRINGS - November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month. The American Cancer Society predicts more than 46,000 people will be diagnosed with the disease this year, and less than 7,000 will survive. 2une In's Rebecca Buchanan caught up with Shara Rusk, a Denham Springs woman living with the deadly disease.

"They call it the silent killer for reason, because you just don't know," Rusk says. "I thought I pulled a muscle in my back, and I figured the pain would go away."

After a couple weeks, she went to the doctor and got the news: Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer. Doctors told her it couldn't be removed. Patients usually have no symptoms until the cancer has already spread to other organs, but some signs include yellowing of the skin, back pain and weight loss.

"Normally when you find out you have pancreatic cancer and it's in Stage 4, it's too late," she explains. "There's only 6% of us that live past the five year mark and 1 in 5 that live past the year."

Shara was given three months to live without treatment, or up to a year with it. She decided the harsh chemo treatment was worth the extra time with her family.

Watch the video to see Rusk's emotional inside-look at her battle with pancreatic cancer.


Permalink| Comments

What you need to know when enrolling for healthcare http://www.wbrz.com/news/what-you-need-to-know-when-enrolling-for-healthcare/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/what-you-need-to-know-when-enrolling-for-healthcare/ 2 Your Health Tue, 18 Nov 2014 5:15:12 AM Hunter Robinson What you need to know when enrolling for healthcare

BATON ROUGE - Open enrollment has begun for those wanting to get health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. There are some changes this year, including increased fines for being uninsured and a shorter enrollment period.

"The biggest single change is that the fines have tripled," Louisiana Healthcare Education Coalition State Coordinator Doug Wilkinson. "Last year it was a $95 fine if you didn't enroll. This year it's $325 or 2% of your gross income, whichever is greater".

The enrollment period is also two months shorter this year. Enrollment began Saturday and will run until February 15th, but if you want coverage by January 1st, you have to everything taken care of by December 15th.

Wilkinson says the problems that plagued the Obamacare website aren't popping up this time around.

"It's my understanding that two million people logged-on Saturday without any glitches," he told 2une In's Kylie Dixon.

In 2013, Louisiana had over 400,000 people eligible for subsidies, but only 100,000 signed on to purchase insurance. Wilkinson says there are new plans this year, so you shouldn't just choose the same option you did last year.

Watch the video or visit the LHEC website for more information.


Permalink| Comments

Pennington looking for volunteers for dementia, Alzheimer's research http://www.wbrz.com/news/pennington-looking-for-volunteers-for-dementia-alzheimer-s-research/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/pennington-looking-for-volunteers-for-dementia-alzheimer-s-research/ 2 Your Health Mon, 17 Nov 2014 5:35:13 AM Hunter Robinson Pennington looking for volunteers for dementia, Alzheimer's research

BATON ROUGE - The month of November is Alzheimer's Awareness Month, with more than five million Americans living with the disease. Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge is working on groundbreaking research in an attempt to lower those numbers across the country.

"It's no surprise that November is Alzheimer's Awareness Month," Dr. Jeff Keller told 2une In's Kylie Dixon. "It was selectively chosen because that's when we see the most people coming in suspecting there's Alzheimer's in the family."

Dr. Keller is the director of PBRC's Institute for Dementia Research and Prevention. It's important to know the signs and symptoms when you spend time with family during the holidays.

"Some memory loss is part of aging, but when we're talking about Alzheimer's it's when it's significant enough to effect both work and social life," he says. "It primarily affects those new memories and the ability to access those new memories."

Alzheimer's patients may be able to recall distant memories but have trouble remembering recent events. Changes in social behavior may also we a warning sign. Patients typically become more introverted and often give up hobbies. Most Alzheimer's patients will be over the age of 65.

The IDRP is currently doing a dementia study and is looking for volunteers to participate. Watch the video, visit the PBRC website or call (225) 763-2973 for more information.


Permalink| Comments

Some HealthCare.gov functions won't work overnight http://www.wbrz.com/news/some-healthcare-gov-functions-won-t-work-overnight/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/some-healthcare-gov-functions-won-t-work-overnight/ 2 Your Health Fri, 14 Nov 2014 2:29:05 PM Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar Some HealthCare.gov functions won't work overnight

WASHINGTON - The Obama administration says some functions of HealthCare.gov will be temporarily shut down overnight as the website transitions to the start of sign-up season on Saturday.

Spokeswoman Lori Lodes said Friday that consumers will not be able to update or start new 2014 applications during the overnight transition. However, they will still be able to look at plans and premiums for 2015 during this time.

Lodes says that when consumers wake up Saturday morning the site will be working, and they will be able to sign up for 2015 coverage. She gives no specific time.

Last year, HealthCare.gov was plagued by technical problems. It froze the first day, and repairs took about two months. The administration says that won't happen this year, though there may be some outages.

Permalink| Comments

Keeping your health law plan may mean premium hike http://www.wbrz.com/news/keeping-your-health-law-plan-may-mean-premium-hike/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/keeping-your-health-law-plan-may-mean-premium-hike/ 2 Your Health Fri, 14 Nov 2014 10:49:31 AM Keeping your health law plan may mean premium hike

WASHINGTON - Many of the 7 million consumers who got insurance under the president's health care law will see premiums go up next year, unless they're willing to switch to another plan.

That was the assessment of independent analysts as the Health and Human Services department released a massive computer file of premium details on Friday.

The numbers will take time to crunch. But they're expected to show that certain low-cost plans used by the government to set subsidies for consumers will cost about the same as this year. That's about $330 a month.

The catch is that your current plan may no longer be the low-cost benchmark, and you'll pay the higher premium unless you switch.

Sign-up for 2015 starts Saturday and runs through Feb. 15.

Permalink| Comments

More web woes ahead of Obamacare enrollment http://www.wbrz.com/news/more-web-woes-ahead-of-obamacare-enrollment/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/more-web-woes-ahead-of-obamacare-enrollment/ 2 Your Health Thu, 13 Nov 2014 4:43:59 PM Alexa Vogue More web woes ahead of Obamacare enrollment

BATON ROUGE - Round two of enrollment for Obamacare starts Saturday and the government hopes signups are smoother after the website was overwhelmed the first time.

Several changes were made to Healthcare.gov including a way to preview plans which will let people compare estimated premiums, deductibles and maximum out-of-pocket payments.

But local agent Larry Koenig believes the site is worse than before.

"You'd think that over a years time of working on the website you'd think they'd have it fixed," Dr. Koenig said. "But now virtually every single day I try and get people signed up for the insurance you get a screen that comes up, 'Sorry, the website's down.'"

It's just one reason the government is asking people to start window shopping now.

"Especially with the website being down, you want to get in there as quickly as possible," Dr. Koenig said. "They're estimating 7 to 8 million people trying to get insured during that time."

If you're skip getting health insurance, keep in mind the fee for not having any has increased a lot more than the $95 people were fined this year.

"If people don't sign up there is a fine, it's called a penalty, and it's $325 for every adult in the family and $167.50 per child in the family," Dr. Koenig said. "They do cap it though at $975 and this is a fine that's going to keep going up every year."

Because Louisiana chose not to set up its own health insurance exchange, people looking to buy insurance that meets the new health law's standards must either go through a licensed agent or the federal government's website.

The deadline to sign up for Jan. 1 coverage is Dec. 15.

Permalink| Comments

Dr. Calandro warns about unsafe cleaning supplies http://www.wbrz.com/news/dr-calandro-warns-about-unsafe-cleaning-supplies/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/dr-calandro-warns-about-unsafe-cleaning-supplies/ 2 Your Health Thu, 13 Nov 2014 3:10:02 PM Caroline McDougall Dr. Calandro warns about unsafe cleaning supplies

BATON ROUGE - According to Dr. Mindy Calandro, it's important to be aware of the many household products you have in your home and how harmful they can be if your children get hold of them.

Dr. Calandro says children can often be lured towards many of the common cleaning products due to their bright colors. She says many of these alluring products are poisonous and consumption can lead your children to become very ill or can cause death. She advises to always stow away your cleaning products in safe areas where children cannot reach or add safety locks to cabinet doors.

Dr. Calandro is a pediatrician at The Baton Rouge Clinic.

Permalink| Comments

A guide to healthy holidays and diabetes living http://www.wbrz.com/news/a-guide-to-healthy-holidays-and-diabetes-living/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/a-guide-to-healthy-holidays-and-diabetes-living/ 2 Your Health Mon, 10 Nov 2014 3:35:10 PM WBRZ Staff A guide to healthy holidays and diabetes living

BATON ROUGE - With World Diabetes Day approaching on Friday, dietician Angelina LeBlanc returned to the News 2 at 4 set to promote diabetes awareness, prevention and coping techniques.

According to the International Diabetes Federation, approximately 400 million people worldwide have diabetes with 29.1 million in the United States alone so it is especially important to be aware of the causes of Type 2 diabetes and to take proactive measures to avoid the disease.

LeBlanc encourages everyone, with diabetes or without, to jump start the day by eating a healthy breakfast. She says skipping breakfast is associated with a higher risk of overweight, obesity and Type 2 diabetes. Breakfast fuels our metabolic fire to burn sugar and fat acquired from other meal throughout the day. Eating a breakfast also promotes liver health and is a great opportunity to get some extra protein, whole grains and calcium sources for overall better nutrition and health. Below are a few menu items the dietician recommends:

*Meal replacement shake (Glucerna, Boost Glucose Control, Ideal Protein)
*Greek or non-dairy yogurt and fruit parfait
*Special K with protein cereal, lowfat milk or unsweetened vanilla almond or soy milk
*Oatmeal (prepared with milk or unsweetened vanilla almond or soy milk), blended with berries or pumpkin puree, cinnamon, stevia and nuts
*Scrambled egg with low fat cheese, salsa on whole grain deli flat or tortilla
*Whole grain waffle topped with peanut butter, cranberry sauce and a side of low fat milk or unsweetened almond milk

In regards to the upcoming, diet-destroying holiday season, LeBlanc also has some healthy tips:

*Start with a lean proteins such as roasted turkey, pork loin or beef loin/round roast.
*Make cornbread and rice dressing mixes with lean ground meat or turkey (90% lean or better), olive oil, lots of fresh veggies (onion, peppers, celery) and low-sodium stock.
*Try substituting half or all white flour for whole grain in cornbread and other bread recipes.
*Make 1-2 sides (preferably veggies) that are not sauced, stuffed or casseroled such as a large garden salad with lite dressing; saute green beans with olive oil, fresh garlic and almond slivers; roast broccoli, cauliflower and carrots in olive oil, balsamic vinegar and fresh herbs.
*For lower carb sweet potato casserole, substitute half sweet potatoes with roasted butternut squash, use stevia (PureVia) as sweetener and egg whites for whole eggs (2 egg whites replace 1 whole egg). Add lots of pumpkin pie spice and top with chopped walnuts for crunch.
*Substitute 2% cheese, 1-2% milk, Campbell's Healthy Request cream mushroom soup and low-sodium stock in casseroles and other dishes.
*Vary desserts with a fresh fruit salad. Top with squeeze lemon to prevent fruits from browning. If other treats are tempting you, select only your most favorite that comes around only once per year.

Beside monitoring what you put into your body, LeBlanc advises her clients to relax and enjoy the holidays. While it can be a stressful, action-packed time for most, she advises that stress raises blood sugar levels and can result in comfort food overeating to cope with the discomfort. She advises taking a 10-15 minute brisk walk before or after every meal to total 30-45 minutes of activity every day.

Finally, LeBlanc encourages "mindful eating", another tip that may be an especially difficult task during the holiday rush. Mindful eating means taking the time to enjoy your food and avoiding distractions like TV, phones and meetings. Eating mindfully allows your body to realize your eating and to achieve the maximum satisfaction from your meals.


Permalink| Comments

VA vows focus on customer service http://www.wbrz.com/news/va-vows-focus-on-customer-service/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/va-vows-focus-on-customer-service/ 2 Your Health Mon, 10 Nov 2014 10:31:24 AM VA vows focus on customer service

WASHINGTON - On the eve of Veterans Day, the Veterans Affairs Department is announcing a reorganization designed to make it easier for veterans to gain access to the sprawling department and its many websites.

VA Secretary Robert McDonald calls the reorganization the largest in the department's history and says it will bring a singular focus on customer service to an agency that serves 22 million veterans.

The department will hire a chief customer service officer and will create a single regional framework that will encompass all aspects of the agency, from health care to benefits, loan centers and even cemetery plots. The VA now has nine organizational maps and at least a dozen websites, many with their own user names and passwords.

McDonald hopes to complete the reorganization within a year.

Permalink| Comments

Admin. dials back goal for health law sign-ups http://www.wbrz.com/news/admin-dials-back-goal-for-health-law-sign-ups/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/admin-dials-back-goal-for-health-law-sign-ups/ 2 Your Health Mon, 10 Nov 2014 10:06:47 AM Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar Admin. dials back goal for health law sign-ups

WASHINGTON - The administration is dialing back expectations for health insurance sign-ups in the second year of President Barack Obama's big push to cover uninsured Americans.

A report released Monday by the Health and Human Services department estimates that 9 million to 9.9 million paying customers will enroll for 2015.

That's significantly lower than the 13 million the Congressional Budget Office projected earlier this year.

But it does represent an increase of roughly 30 to 40 percent from the 7.1 million currently signed up.

Under the health law, people who don't have coverage on the job can buy taxpayer-subsidized private insurance through HealthCare.gov and state insurance markets. Many are required to do so to avoid fines.

Open enrollment starts Saturday. Consumers can get an early peek at premiums now on HealthCare.gov.

Permalink| Comments

Consumers to get peek at 2015 health law premiums http://www.wbrz.com/news/consumers-to-get-peek-at-2015-health-law-premiums/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/consumers-to-get-peek-at-2015-health-law-premiums/ 2 Your Health Fri, 7 Nov 2014 8:52:07 AM Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar Consumers to get peek at 2015 health law premiums

WASHINGTON - The Obama administration says starting this weekend, consumers can get an early peek at 2015 premiums and plans under the president's health law.

Open enrollment starts Nov. 15, a week from Saturday. But Lori Lodes, spokeswoman for HealthCare.gov, said Friday that consumers will be able to "window shop" for plans before then.

The lack of such a feature was one of the initial problems last year for HealthCare.gov.

Most e-commerce sites allow people to browse anonymously and don't require account creation until consumers are ready to buy. As originally designed, the Obama administration's website worked the opposite way, overloading the balky system.

Consumers will have to set up an account - or go back to their existing account - to enroll in a plan for 2015.

Permalink| Comments

Baton Rouge General Physicians hold open house today http://www.wbrz.com/news/baton-rouge-general-physicians-hold-open-house-today/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/baton-rouge-general-physicians-hold-open-house-today/ 2 Your Health Thu, 6 Nov 2014 5:46:00 AM Hunter Robinson Baton Rouge General Physicians hold open house today

BATON ROUGE - Baton Rouge General Physicians are giving you a change to kickstart a healthier lifestyle for free. Dr. Tarisha Mixon stopped by 2une In Thursday to tell you how.

Today from Noon - 2:00 p.m. at Baton Rouge General Mid-City. You'll get a tour of the facility, drink refreshments and talk to a pair of doctors about health-related issues. Dr. Mixon, a family doctor, believes events like these are important.

"Everyone needs to see their doctors regularly for check-ups and health screenings based on age, gender and family history," she explains. "Those all can help determine your others risks so it's important to have these conversations with your doctor."

For more information visit this website or call (225) 763-4281.


Permalink| Comments

LA Health and Rehab Center celebrates 20 yrs. with fundraiser http://www.wbrz.com/news/la-health-and-rehab-center-celebrates-20-yrs-with-fundraiser/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/la-health-and-rehab-center-celebrates-20-yrs-with-fundraiser/ 2 Your Health Thu, 6 Nov 2014 5:24:29 AM Hunter Robinson LA Health and Rehab Center celebrates 20 yrs. with fundraiser

BATON ROUGE - The Louisiana Health and Rehab Center in Baton Rouge is celebrating 20 years of helping people reach their dreams and potential. There is a special fundraising dinner scheduled next week to celebrate. Soundra Temple and Shawne Langston joined 2une In Thursday with all the details.

They agency's flagship program is Reality House. It provides treatment for women and their dependent children. Other programs include the Pocahontas House and the Life Care Center. You can find more information about all three programs on the Louisiana Health and Rehab Center website.

Even after twenty years, the agency is still able to help many people.

"We stay pretty busy and usually have a waiting list," Temple explains. "We were one one of the first programs of our kind in the state, and now there are eight or nine programs like us."

On Thursday, November 13th, the Louisiana Health and Rehab Center is hosting a celebrating dinner at Boudreaux's in Baton Rouge to celebrate their 20th anniversary. It begins at 6:30 p.m. There will also be a silent auction to fundraise so the agency can continue to offer its successful programs.

For more information, watch the video or call (225) 231-2490.


Permalink| Comments

OLOL takes on lung cancer http://www.wbrz.com/news/olol-takes-on-lung-cancer/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/olol-takes-on-lung-cancer/ 2 Your Health Wed, 5 Nov 2014 6:45:38 AM Hunter Robinson OLOL takes on lung cancer

BATON ROUGE - November is National Lung Cancer Awareness Month. Dr. Brad Vincent and Renea Duffin from Our Lady of the Lake Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center visited 2une In this morning to tell you how you can lower your risk.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death in Louisiana each year. Dr. Vincent is an interventional pulmonologist and member of the cancer center's Lung Cancer Multidisciplinary Care Team. He says Lung Cancer Awareness Month is about helping those high-risk smokers.

"We're looking for smokers ages 55-74 to come in and get a low-dose CAT scan of the chest," he explains. "There's a test you can take on the OLOL website to tell you if you fall in that category."

Risk factors include your age, how long you've been smoking, how much you've been smoking, if you have had exposure to asbestos and if you have a family history of lung cancer. Even if you've quit smoking, you should still get checked if you believe your at risk.

Duffin is the Vice President of Cancer Support and Outreach at Mary Bird Perkins. She says the cancer center can also help you if you've been trying to quit, but haven't been able to.

"It's very important that people that are smokers that want to quit seek out opportunities to stop," she explains. "Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center has offered free tobacco cessation for over 7 years now to help you in your efforts to quit smoking."

To set up a lung cancer screening, call (225) 215-1515. Watch the video for more information.

Permalink| Comments

Social media campaign to promote healthy eating http://www.wbrz.com/news/social-media-campaign-to-promote-healthy-eating/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/social-media-campaign-to-promote-healthy-eating/ 2 Your Health Tue, 4 Nov 2014 6:44:33 AM Hunter Robinson Social media campaign to promote healthy eating

BATON ROUGE - Wednesday is National Eating Healthy Day. The American Heart Association and Our Lady of the Lake are teaming up to promote a social media campaign to promote eating healthy.

Kristen Gradney, a dietician at OLOL stopped by 2une In this morning with all the details. She says if you can take pictures of your food, you can join the movement.

"The goal of the campaign is to bring awareness to the fact that 80% of the factors that cause heart disease and stroke are preventable just through making good choices and eating healthy," Gradney explains.

You're encouraged to use #BReathealthy on Twitter tomorrow, and tweet pictures of your meals, snacks and exercise throughout the day.

Watch the video for more information

Permalink| Comments

SNL Alum Darrell Hammond comes to Baton Rouge http://www.wbrz.com/news/snl-alum-darrell-hammond-comes-to-baton-rouge/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/snl-alum-darrell-hammond-comes-to-baton-rouge/ 2 Your Health Mon, 3 Nov 2014 6:25:35 AM Hunter Robinson SNL Alum Darrell Hammond comes to Baton Rouge

BATON ROUGE - Saturday Night Live Legend Darrell Hammond is coming to Baton Rouge Tuesday night. It's all to benefit the Mental Health Association.

Hammond is known for his impression of former President Bill Clinton and recently returned to the show as its announcer. Jenny Ridge with MHA stopped by 2une In this morning with more information.

"He's going to tell his story, which is a sad story, but he's going to infuse it with humor," she explained.

You can catch the comedy legend at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday night at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center. For more information, call (225)929-7674 or watch the video.


Permalink| Comments

Medicare weighs paying for end-of-life counseling http://www.wbrz.com/news/medicare-weighs-paying-for-end-of-life-counseling/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/medicare-weighs-paying-for-end-of-life-counseling/ 2 Your Health Fri, 31 Oct 2014 2:06:38 PM Medicare weighs paying for end-of-life counseling

WASHINGTON - Medicare is asking for public comment on whether it should pay doctors for counseling patients about their options for end-of-life care.

Friday's announcement came in a voluminous regulation on physician payment. Spokesman Aaron Albright says it will "give the public ample opportunity to weigh in on the topic."

Five years after a similar proposal triggered a political backlash against President Barack Obama's health care legislation, the administration is dipping its toe in the water.

Such counseling would be voluntary, aiming to make patients aware of their end-of-life options so they can determine the type of care they want.

The approach has wide support in the medical community, and some private insurance plans already pay for the counseling. Medicare will consider a change for 2016.

Permalink| Comments