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Health Agencies Update
August 25, 2015

CMS Proposes Payment for Advance Care Planning Discussions

JAMA. 2015;314(8):761. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.9962

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is seeking comment on a proposal to add separate payment rates and codes for advance care planning conversations between Medicare beneficiaries and physicians or other health care professionals paid under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule. Such discussions may cover, for example, information on treatment options, advance directives, and forms patients need to complete to express their wishes for end-of-life care. The proposal to offer paid benefit for an initial 30-minute session on advance care planning and additional discussions would “better enable seniors and other Medicare beneficiaries to make important decisions that give them control over the type of care they receive and when they receive it,” stated a CMS fact sheet (http://go.cms.gov/1KR7miD).