Do You Talk to Your Patients About Advance Care Planning?

April 24, 2019

Physicians' and other qualifying providers' use of advance care planning (ACP) codes for Medicare beneficiaries is increasing but remains below 3%, according to two studies published recently in JAMA Internal Medicine.

The authors conclude that either clinicians are not having conversations with patients about their values and life goals regarding their future healthcare, or they are having the conversations but are not billing properly or consistently for them.

In late 2018, the National Consensus Project released a new edition of their Clinical Practice Guidelines for Quality Palliative Care. The guidelines emphasize the importance of interdisciplinary care and care coordination as patients move across care settings.

More specifically, the new guidelines call for a "seismic shift" in the way palliative care is delivered by urging all healthcare professionals and organizations to integrate such care into the services they provide to individuals with serious illnesses.

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