End of Life

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  • As Congress Debates, What Steps Shall I Take?

    by Bill Frist




    Written with Gary Dodd There’s a lot of uncertainty in healthcare today including changes to the Affordable Care Act and changes at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. As healthcare professionals, we hope we are moving to a world of alternative payment models that will be focused on quality of care, not quantity of…




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  • Tomorrow Might Be The Most Important Day This Year (Forbes)

    by Bill Frist




    It’s true that we are all living longer: the percentage of American adults over 65 years old has doubled since 1940, now reaching 13%. By 2050 that number is expected to double again to 25%. In actual numbers this translates to an estimated 89 million “senior citizens” by 2050. Advances in sanitation and the advent…




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  • Call for a Conversation: Alzheimer’s in Tonight’s Debate

    by Bill Frist




    Tonight, when Republican candidates, vying for the White House, debate one another at the presidential library and final resting place of President Ronald Reagan, they should honor his memory and address the illness that claimed his life and the lives of 700,000 Americans annually: Alzheimer’s disease, the sixth-leading cause of death in our nation. Reagan…




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  • Compensating for End of Life Conversations Is Important First Step

    by Bill Frist




    The Obama Administration is soon scheduled to release the proposed 2016 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, which determines what and how much providers can bill for health care services. The administration can choose to compensate providers for offering voluntary counseling services to patients and families about end-of-life care options, and I strongly urge it to do…




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  • A Charge to Press Forward on Alzheimer’s Research

    by Bill Frist




    Heart transplantation revolutionized healthcare in a way that’s hard to comprehend. What was once a death sentence–sometimes without warning–became surmountable. People got their lives back. We need the same revolution in Alzheimer’s research. The answer will be different; transplant can’t solve this problem. But just because the way forward is unclear, we can’t stop pushing…




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  • It’s National Health Care Decisions Day: Who will you designate?

    by Bill Frist




    End-of-life planning is an important part of healthcare. It’s a refrain I’ve been repeating. I’ve called for changes in care models, payment schemes, and physician education. But all of the needed changes aren’t at the system level. There are steps that every individual must take as well. Along with Gary Dodd, a palliative care nurse…




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  • The Physician’s Role and End-of-Life

    by Bill Frist




    Over the past several months, I’ve been championing a revolution in end-of-life care. The care models need to change. Reimbursement strategies need to change. The way we think and talk about end-of-life needs to change. And physician education needs to change. We, as doctors, need a new perspective on our role as healers and what…




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  • Digitize your own advanced-care plan

    by Bill Frist




    (The Hill, December 18, 2013) End of life planning is so important. It’s a topic I’ve spoken on frequently. But it’s not just a plan that you need. Your family members must be able to find it when they need it. That’s why free, online tools like the ones My Directives offers are so valuable!…




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  • End-of-life stories give us impetus to learn

    by Bill Frist




    (The Tennessean, December 1, 2013) By Sen. Bill Frist, M.D. and Manoj Jain M.D. Authors’ note: This is the final of six parts. We are honored and extremely grateful that so many shared their family stories with us. We have preserved the stories but have changed individuals’ names. Over the past three months, as we…




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  • End-of-life care plan can ensure wishes are respected

    by Bill Frist




    (The Tennessean, November 4, 2013) By Sen. Bill Frist, M.D. and Manoj Jain, M.D Fifth of six parts that will appear this fall “I would never have my mother, who has cancer, go through this,” a hospital case manager in her 50s says. “I would never have her be strapped to the bed. Never have a…




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  • Elderly need options for palliative care

    by Bill Frist




    (The Tennessean, October, 20, 2013) By Sen. Bill Frist, M.D. and Manoj Jain, M.D. A patient — we will call her Matilda — has thin, silvery hair, deep-set eyes and is in her mid-80s. She worked as a factory worker until she was widowed and now lives alone a few miles away from two working…




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  • We often avoid important conversation

    by Bill Frist




    (The Tennessean, October 6, 2013) By Sen. Bill Frist, M.D. and Manoj Jain, M.D. When a patient’s lymph node biopsy came back as a rare form of lymphoma, he did not have long to live. In the six months before he died, he did not settle his family affairs or financial accounts. His doctors should…




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  • It’s never too early to discuss your final wishes

    by Bill Frist




    (The Tennessean, September 22, 2013) By Manoj Jain, M.D. and Sen. Bill Frist, M.D. A week before my (Dr. Jain) elderly parents came for a long visit, I asked them if they would be willing to have a conversation about end-of-life planning. But it wasn’t until the day before they left that we sat at…




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