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HHS Nominee Alex Azar Cites Importance of Advance Care Planning

On Tuesday, the Trump administration nominee for HHS Secretary, Alex Azar, cited the importance of advance care planning in his nomination hearing before the Senate Finance Committee. When questioned by committee member and advanced illness care champion, Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), Azar stated that it is a “very important part of all of our personal care management . . . that we engage in that kind of thoughtful, directive planning.”

Please find the full transcript of the exchange below. C-TAC is very encouraged by Nominee Azar’s comments and looks forward to working closely with the new HHS leadership to improve care for those with advanced illness.


Transcript of Dialogue Between Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.) and HHS Secretary Nominee Alex Azar
January 9, 2018

Senator Warner: An issue that Senator Isakson and I have been working on for a long time is advance care planning and end-of-life issues, and CMS obviously made a major step forward a few years back where they went ahead and put a coding in for that consult. I would just like to get you on the record in terms of recognizing we don’t want to limit anyone’s choices, but we want to honor and respect peoples choices about care planning or end of life issues.

HHS Nominee Azar: I think it’s a very important part of all of our personal care management in life as we think about our life and our health care and our family members that we engage in that kind of thoughtful, directive planning of ‘what do we desire.’ As you said, it’s not about imposing anyone’s views on someone else, it’s actually about ensuring systems respect that individual’s choices, and enabling that is very important for us.


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