Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment (POST)-Gaining Momentum in Michigan

Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment (POST) is a program designed to help health care professionals honor the treatment decisions of their patients. Using the principles of informed consent, POST improves the quality of patient care and reduces medical errors by creating a system that identifies, communicates, and respects patients’ wishes regarding medical treatment. The POST Program is designed to ensure that seriously ill patients can choose the treatments they want for themselves in the future.   POST is a part of the National Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) Paradigm.

MI-POST (Michigan’s POST) is more than specific medical orders documented on a form. MI-POST is an approach to end-of-life planning that fills a gap that cannot be met by an advance directive.  It is a direct result of thoughtful, facilitated advance care planning conversations between health care professionals, patients, and those close to them.  The voluntary completion of a MI-POST form requires shared decision making between the health care professional who signs the form and the patient or the legally authorized health care representative.  Together they reach informed decisions about desired treatment, based on the person’s values, beliefs and goals for care.  It is only then that the patient and the healthcare provider complete and sign the MI-POST. The MI-POST however is currently only recognized in three pilot regions in Michigan.

Following a two-year pilot project in three geographic regions of the state, a four-bill package was developed. The language in these bills was taken up on June 7, 2017 by the Health Policy Committee of the Michigan House of Representatives. The language specifically calls for statewide adoption of the MIPOST. The testimony given for House Bills 4170, 4171, 4173, 4174 was overwhelmingly in support and no opposition was voiced.  This bipartisan sponsored package has since been reported out by the Health Policy Committee to go to the House Floor for further action.

Stay tuned for further developments.

If you have questions regarding Advance Care Planning or MI-POST, please contact Kate LaBeau, Advance Care Planning Program Manager at Upper Peninsula Health Plan at 906-225-7500.