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Capitol Health Call
June 9, 2015

GAO Study Examines Advance Directives

Author Affiliations

Copyright 2015 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.

JAMA. 2015;313(22):2213. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.5990

The likelihood of adults having advance directives such as “living wills” or health care powers of attorney varies by their demographic characteristics and who provides their care, according to a report released April 29 by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

The Patient Self-Determination Act requires that 6 types of Medicare- and Medicaid-funded providers—hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies, hospices, health maintenance organizations, and Medicare Advantage plans—maintain written policies and procedures to inform patients about advance directives and document their preferences in their medical records. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) provides documents to inform providers about the advance directive requirement and how the agency will monitor its implementation.

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