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Medical News & Perspectives
Quick Uptakes
May 26, 2021

Despite Big Buildup, Few Benefit From Medicare’s Advance Care Planning Coverage

JAMA. 2021;325(23):2333-2334. doi:10.1001/jama.2021.8402

In 2016 Medicare launched a much-anticipated advance care planning (ACP) benefit that pays physicians to counsel patients about living wills, advance directives, and end-of-life care options. During the ACP process clinicians can help patients determine the type of care they would want in a medical crisis or at the end of life and reassure them that their preferences will be observed. Numerous medical and patient advocacy organizations backed the Medicare initiative, asserting that compensation for physicians would encourage proactive end-of-life care discussions. These conversations are associated with patients receiving care that respects their wishes as well as fewer in-hospital deaths and more hospice use.

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