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CMS Allows Reimbursement for Advance Planning

Compassion & Choices received some very encouraging news on the heels of our federal policy briefing- one of our policy agenda items has already been implemented. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a rule that allows the agency to reimburse doctors starting Jan. 1, 2016, for communicating with patients about whether and how they would want to be kept alive if they become too sick to speak for themselves.

“This new rule removes a barrier for doctors to initiate and engage in conversations, a key step to ensure healthcare providers honor patients’ treatment goals, preferences and values,” said Kim Callinan, Chief Program Officer for Compassion & Choices, which advocated for this proposal as a provision in the Affordable Care Act. “The complimentary step to achieve this goal is for CMS to formulate a proposal to ensure that healthcare providers are not reimbursed for unwanted medical treatment, which polling data suggests about 25 million American have experienced.” CMS has also added Advanced Care Planning as an optional element (at the beneficiary’s discretion) to the Annual Wellness Visits.

Click here to download our Federal Policy Agenda, and click here to learn more about our Capitol Hill briefing.