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Patient Self-Determination Act: Providers Offer Information on Advance Directives but Effectiveness Uncertain

HEHS-95-135 Published: Aug 28, 1995. Publicly Released: Aug 28, 1995.
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the implementation of the Patient Self-Determination Act (PSDA), and the effectiveness of advance directives in ensuring a patient's desired care.


Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Health and Human Services The Secretary of Health and Human Services should analyze whether a mailing about advance directives to Social Security recipients would be a cost-effective way of further meeting the needs addressed by Congress in PSDA and, if not, seek a legislative amendment repealing the requirement.
Closed – Implemented
The Department of Health and Human Services cannot implement a mass mailing to all Social Security beneficiaries due to the enormous expense involved.

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