“[McCaughey] claimed that we failed to note a section of the bill that she says sets up a ‘penalty’ for doctors who fail to give patients such advice and that ‘if there’s a penalty, it is mandatory.’ But she’s actually pointing to a section that would make ‘quality measures of end of life care’ one of more than 150 quality-of-care factors to be considered when awarding physicians a 2 percent bonus under Medicare. And physicians only have to report on a small subset of the measures in order to receive the bonus. That’s a far cry from creating a specific penalty for failure to counsel patients, much less making consultations ‘mandatory,’ as McCaughey originally claimed.
Furthermore, McCaughey went on to claim that doctors would be penalized ‘if the patient or their family changes their mind about their living will.’ But the bill says nothing of the sort. As one expert tells us, advance directives can be changed at any point.”