End-of-Life Care: More Than a Conversation

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released a proposed rule that would reimburse physicians for discussions they have about end-of-life care (also referred to as advance care planning). The proposal, which is backed by the American Hospital Association, the American College of Physicians and the American Medical Association – is for the 2016 calendar year. The recommendation comes at a time when patients and their families are also talking about better end-of-life care and advancing legislation in many states, including New York, that would expand end-of-life options.

Hospitals & Health Networks (H&HN) recently published “Five Principles for Better End-of-Life Care,” which suggests that in addition to having end-of-life conversations with their patients “[physicians] need to understand such things as when and how often to have conversations, how to use over time what is learned in the conversations and the mechanics of how the information is recorded and presented in the electronic health record.”

More details on the proposed changes to policy, payment and quality provisions are available here.