How an Advance Care Planning Bill Could Impact Hospice and Medicare

September 19, 2022

U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner (D-Va.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) introduced the Improving Access to Advance Care Planning Act to the Senate.  The act would provide greater access to for health care providers and policymakers a greater girth of goal-concordant care at the end of life but may face opposition due to potential costs. Similar legislation was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.)

If enacted, the legislation would remove co-pays and patient fees for advance care planning (ACP) services, allow social workers to conduct these conversations, expand provider education about associated billing codes, and improve reporting on barriers to ACP utilization.

“The data are very mixed, but there is a whole evidence base for advance care planning,” Brian Lindberg, senior policy advisor at the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care (C-TAC), told Hospice News. “In the long run, if people get the care they really want up till the end of life, we might see that many people choose less expensive and less invasive care. We just have never been able to get a claim on the savings around that.”

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