Assessment of first-year use of Medicare’s advance care planning billing codes

JAMA Internal Medicine Mar 15, 2019

Pelland K, et al. – In this study, researchers characterized the first year of advance care planning (ACP) code use and described beneficiary characteristics linked to receipt of ACP services. They found that ACP conversations were infrequent between patients and their healthcare professionals (HCPs) and, when they did occur, the context was often a stressful clinical situation. Invasive, expensive care that may not have been aligned with the patients’ wishes often occurred as a result of late or absent ACP conversations. Medicare introduced reimbursement of ACP services on January 1, 2016, under a separate billing code, to promote HCP-initiated ACP discourse.

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