Compassionate Care Act Would Promote Advanced Care Planning

Posted Monday, December 14, 2020

In early December Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) reintroduced the Compassionate Care Act to promote advance care planning and enhance end-of-life care. The legislation provides for the creation of an infrastructure providing federal support for education of patients and providers, development of core end-of-life quality measures, and expansion of access to advance care planning via telehealth.

The legislation would also permanently allow hospices to utilize telehealth interactions to conduct the hospice face-to-face encounter.

“In introducing the legislation, Sen. Blumenthal acknowledged the important role the COVID-19 pandemic has played in sensitizing our Nation’s citizens to the need for all individuals to consider their personal preferences for care should serious or terminal illness strike. “This bill will help Americans have the difficult but necessary conversations about end-of-life care,” said Blumenthal. “The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded Americans of all ages of the importance to have a plan in place in case of severe illness or death. By promoting end-of-life care through public awareness, expanding telehealth services, and working with physicians, we can ensure that not one more person is robbed of making critical life or death decisions for themselves during this pandemic and beyond.”

Among other provisions, the Compassionate Care Act would:

  • Establish guidelines for advance care planning between health providers and patients;
  • Launch a National Public Awareness Campaign that would encourage patients and providers to make end-of-life plans;
  • Direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to develop education resources for providers to engage with patients, work with providers, state boards of medicine, and clinical associations to develop advance care education resources, and solicit feedback from providers and develop quality measures;
  • Improve access to advance care planning by expanding telehealth options for providers and patients; and
  • Facilitate a study on a national advanced care planning registry that would allow patients to transfer their advanced directives from state to state.”

Source: NAHC Report

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