Note to the SCC from the managing editor June 9, 2015

The steps involved in changing Medicare’s criteria for reimbursement are laid out in a front-page story in today’s New York Times.  Dr. Patricia Conway, chief medical officer for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid says discussions about dying “are an important part of patient- and family-centered care.” Her agency has proposed reimbursing for such visits.

“Dr. Conway said a final decision on the proposal would be made by Nov. 1. The plan would allow qualified professionals like nurse practitioners and physician assistants, as well as doctors, to be reimbursed for face-to-face meetings with a patient and any relatives or caregivers the patient wants to include. Dr. Conway said the proposal did not limit the number of conversations reimbursed.”

As noted in our recent item about diet clinics, SCC president Jeffrey Hergenrather, MD, wants to see bona fide cannabis consultations covered by insurance. 

Read Dr. Hergenrather’s line in the upcoming O’Shaughnessy’s.  Additional comments on this subject can be added before we go to press August 4. Email to weigh in.

If any MD has ever applied to Medicare for reimbursement for a cannabis consultation, please advise.

Maybe somebody ought to. When you get turned down, ask how to file an appeal. 

Also, in today’s NYT, an op-ed decrying the fear of fat. Here’s the gist:

Based on years of low-fat messaging, most Americans still actively avoid dietary fat, while eating far too much refined carbohydrates. This fear of fat also drives industry formulations, with heavy marketing of fat-reduced products of dubious health value.

And here’s the graphic. Cute but inaccurate. Typo in hed. 

nutrition facts