Personalize Your Care Act of 2011 Introduced Today...

'Today, tomorrow, and everyday should be National Healthcare Decisions Day!"

--M. Joshua Morris (@LVDone), one of our Tweeps (NHDD Twitter follower)

 The aforementioned sentiment couldn't be more true to the NHDD mission. And, this afternoon as I write this post, we are one step closer to achieving that goal for the American people. Just moments ago long time advance care planning champion Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-3rd) introduced H.R. 1589, the Personalize Your Care Act of 2011. This act would compensate or 'provide benefits to' physicians for encouraging patients to document their medical wishes and be proactive in making their healthcare decisions. In the press release announcing the proposed legislation, Congressman Blumenauer cites his support of NHDD as well as how this act will aid the conversations we are promoting through the NHDD initiative. Legislation like the one the Congressman has proposed is key to raising the profile of advance care planning in communities nationwide and I hope our elected officials, regardless of party will lend their support to make it happen. I'll keep you posted on developments! See the official announcement of the Personalize Your Care Act of 2011 below.




“Personalize Your Care Act” Empowers Individuals Decisions, Enjoys Broad Support from Patients and Doctors

Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), a member of the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, introduced H.R. 1589, the Personalize Your Care Act of 2011, providing benefits for voluntary, personalized patient-physician consultations regarding advance care planning. These consultations are critical to ensuring that medical care is offered in accordance with the personal values and goals identified by each patient. Mr. Blumenauer successfully passed similar legislation through the House of Representatives as part of the health care reform bill, though it was not included in the Senate version due to the reconciliation rules.

“Voluntary benefits for advance care planning are the best way to ensure that our healthcare system respects the individual wishes of patients,” said Blumenauer. The approach offered by this legislation recognizes that advance care documents are not the “ends”, but the “means” – they are the tools for documenting care preferences based on informed decisions that incorporate an individual’s values, personal goals, and current circumstances. The Personalize Your Care Act supports individuals and families who want to plan together before challenging health scenarios arise.

“On April 16th, National Healthcare Decisions Day, families across our nation have the opportunity to talk with their loved ones about their wishes regarding healthcare. The Personalize Your Care Act helps support that conversation.”

 The legislation also provides grants to states to create Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) programs, allows portability of advance directives across states, and requires standards to include completed advance care planning documents within a patient’s electronic health record.

Photo from Portland Independent Media Center