Monday, July 27, 2015

Bioethicist speaks out against Medicare end-of-life announcement

The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced that it will begin paying doctors to counsel patients about end-of-life care, effective January 1, 2016

St. Petersburg, Fla. (July 27, 2015) – Nearly every day, Fernando Gutierrez, a certified healthcare mediator and registered professional guardian, helps patients face death with compassion, expertise and experience. He delicately guides patients and their families through the difficult choices they must make about treatments such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), artificial breathing machines and intravenous nutrition.

Gutierrez and his team of experts at Ethics 4 Healthcare spend many hours with each patient, thoroughly discussing their end-of-life wishes, navigating through the complicated and confusing choices they are faced with, to make informed decisions:

"A patient may initially object to ever using a ventilator," explains Gutierrez. "But they might not have considered the use of a ventilator for something simple, such as pneumonia with a good prognosis. I discuss with them such circumstances and develop a relationship to understand their needs."

The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently announced that it will begin paying doctors to counsel patients about end-of-life care, effective January 1, 2016. Medicare provides health insurance for 55 million people who are at least 65 years old, and about 80 percent of Americans who die each year are insured by the program.

"This is very troubling," Gutierrez says. "Counseling patients on end-of-life care requires a great deal of time and sensitivity. Physicians are already squeezed for time as never before, rushing through appointments to see more patients, and performing more procedures to make-up for flat or declining reimbursements."

To address Gutierrez's concerns, Ethics 4 Healthcare will seek to establish a referral procedure, allowing physicians to refer a consultation with an independent bioethics committee to make informed and unbiased decisions for their end-of-life care.

About Fernando Gutierrez
Mr. Fernando Gutierrez, is a Florida Registered Professional Guardian since 2009.
Mr. Gutierrez has specialized training in clinical healthcare ethics and consultations, where he has obtained certification and certificates of accomplishment. He has graduated from numerous intensive healthcare educational courses and programs at several  prominent institutions including, the National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia, University of Washington School of Medicine, University of Virginia Medical School and Washington D.C. Hospital Center.
Mr. Gutierrez recently completed Bioethics studies at Union Graduate College, receiving another certificate in Clinical Bioethics.

About Ethics 4 Healthcare
We make sure you're making the best choices for your practice and your patients with the help of our health care ethics consultant in Clearwater, Florida. We have the knowledge and skills necessary to help you make the best decisions when it comes to working with your chronically ill, terminal and non-compliant patients and their families.
Staffing of our Bioethics Committee includes: a Certified Bioethicist, Registered Professional Guardians, Registered Nurses, Registered Dietitian and a Registered Respiratory Therapist. We have experience explaining clinical ethics, in simple and easy to learn terms. For more information, visit:

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