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C-TAC Applauds CMS for Historic Decision to Reimburse for Advance Care Planning in Physician Fee Schedule (PFS)

 

October 30th, 2015

 

C-TAC Applauds CMS for Historic Decision to Reimburse for Advance Care Planning in Physician Fee Schedule (PFS)

Washington, D.C.- Today, CMS released the final 2016 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule that includes the historic reimbursement for two CPT codes to reimburse for advance care planning.

C-TAC commends the Administration for funding codes that would allow providers to conduct comprehensive, voluntary advance care planning discussions with patients and their families regarding care goals and preferences. The finalization of these codes represents a critical step forward in ensuring that all individuals, especially those with advanced illness, receive care that aligns with their goals, wishes, and preferences and honors their dignity.

As the Baby Boomer generation grows older and our nation’s population continues to age at a steady rate, it will become increasingly critical to ensure that individuals have access to these consultations when making important decisions about their health care. This will support a system of care delivery that is high-quality, comprehensive, and person-centered.

Studies have shown the immense value of advance care planning in improving patient and family satisfaction, alleviating caregiver burden and stress, reducing readmissions, and ensuring that care delivery aligns with individual choice.

Moreover, advance care planning is an important cornerstone to a broader, comprehensive approach to caring for this population that also focuses on care management and coordination, interface with home and community-based programs, and treatment and palliation delivered by an interdisciplinary team.

Recent polling demonstrates the public’s tremendous support for these patient-provider consultations. A Kaiser Family Foundation poll revealed that 89 percent of the public agrees that physicians should discuss end-of-life care issues with their patients although only 17 percent have had such discussions.[1]

For more information on the context of the codes, what they mean for stakeholders, and how they advance C-TAC’s mission, please see our FAQ document and our original letter to CMS. You can also view the final rule here.

Once again, C-TAC congratulates the Administration on this important achievement and we look forward to continuing our work together in order to drive transformation in advanced illness care in the United States.

For any further questions or comments, please contact C-TAC Communications Director Meagan Johnston at mjohnston@thectac.org

[1] DiJulio, Bianca, Firth, Jamie, and Brodie, Mollyann. Kaiser Health Tracking Poll. September 30th, 2015. http://kff.org/health-costs/poll-finding/kaiser-health-tracking-poll-september-2015/


 

C-TAC is a non-profit, non-partisan coalition comprised of over 120 national organizations including patient and consumer advocacy groups, health care professionals and providers, private sector stakeholders, faith-based organizations, and health care payers that share a common vision of improving advanced illness care for all Americans. The Coalition works to ensure that all those with advanced illness, especially the sickest and most vulnerable, receive comprehensive, high-quality, person- and family-centered care that is consistent with their goals and values and honors their dignity.

[1] DiJulio, Bianca, Firth, Jamie, and Brodie, Mollyann. Kaiser Health Tracking Poll. September 30th, 2015. http://kff.org/health-costs/poll-finding/kaiser-health-tracking-poll-september-2015/

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