Legislation to pay Medicare beneficiaries for advance care planning

Categories: Policy.

The Medicare Choices Empowerment and Protection Act has been introduced by Senator Tom Coburn (WI) and cosponsored by Senator Chris Coons (DE). This act would potentially reimburse Medicare beneficiaries from $50 to $75 for completing an advance directive that would specify their healthcare wishes.

It is estimated that less than 30 percent of Americans have completed an advance directive – which would include identifying a healthcare proxy to speak on their behalf should they ever be unable to communication their medical wishes.

The hospice community has long advocated for advance care planning and most hospice and palliative care organizations serve as advance care planning resource centers in the communities they serve.

Journalist Alexandra Sifferlin has written an essay, “How To Get Paid for Planning Your Death,” appearing in TIME (05/08/14) that is available online.

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization offers a wide range of materials, including free state-specific advance directive forms,on its consumer engagement website at Caringinfo.org/planningahead.