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Society endorses advance care planning legislation

The Wisconsin Medical Society, along with Gundersen Health System in La Crosse, endorses federal advance care planning (ACP) legislation introduced Wednesday by a bipartisan coalition, which includes Wisconsin U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin.

According to the media release from Sen. Baldwin’s office, The Care Planning Act of 2015 would create a Medicare benefit for patient-centered care planning and reimburse health care professionals who provide a voluntary, structured discussion about a patient’s goals, illness and treatment options. It also would ensure that those choices are honored.

Listed in the release, provisions in the Care Planning Act include:

  • Medicare reimbursement for health care professionals who provide a voluntary, structured discussion, resulting in a documented care plan that reflects the choices made by the patient in consultation with family members and friends, the health care team and faith leaders.
  • Testing new models for more intensive services for those with advanced illnesses, funding support for a public information campaign, grants to develop materials, a website with information about advance care planning, palliative care, hospice, and planning services and the addition of ACP information to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to include information in its Medicare & You handbook.
  • Structures to focus providers on evidence of patient preferences such as directives from other states or past discussions and requiring documentation of plans before a patient is discharged from any health care facilities, so that the care plan travels with the patient.
  • Direction to the HHS to develop quality measures that will assess synchronicity among a person’s expressed goals, values and preferences, the treatment delivered and its outcome.
  • Prohibition of the use of funds in violation of the Assisted Suicide Funding Restriction Act of 1997 and assurance that all services are free from discrimination based on age, disability or advanced illness.

“We know that advance care planning makes a huge difference in patients’ lives, and through Honoring Choices Wisconsin we know that this can and should become the standard of care. As a neurologist I see the consequences every day. The Wisconsin Medical Society enthusiastically supports U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin’s Care Planning Act legislation,” said Donn Dexter, MD, and the Society’s chief medical officer, who was quoted in the release.

The name “Honoring Choices Wisconsin” is used under license from Twin Cities Medical Society Foundation.

Back to June 11, 2015 Medigram