WASHINGTON (CBSDC)– While most Americans would like to have talks with their doctors regarding healthcare at the end of their lives, a new poll finds that few people actually have such discussions.

A new poll released by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that nine in 10 survey participants favored doctors having end-of-life talks with patients and eight in 10 believe those talks should be covered by insurance, as reported by Modern Healthcare.

When asked if they would personally want to have one of these discussions with a healthcare provider, only about half reported feeling comfortable discussing end-of-life issues. Only 17 percent of participants said they’ve engaged in such talks.

Advocates of end-of-life care planning say these discussions may reduce the number of terminally ill patients undergoing unwanted procedures that increase health spending and limit quality of life in their final months.

Advanced-care planning received national attention when Affordable Care Act (ACA) legislation initially included paying doctors to hold end-of-life discussions. The provision was ultimately taken out of the final bill, while critics accused the administration of encouraging “death panels.”

The findings also suggest that 45 percent of those have a negative view of the ACA, while 41 percent view the law favorably. The latest survey was conducted Sept. 17-23 and polled more than 1,200 people on various topics related to healthcare and the ACA.



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