NAELA Applauds Move to Pay Doctors for Advance Care Planning

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CMS Rule Would Cover These Discussions Under Medicare

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Having a frank discussion about how you wish to spend the last moments of your life is a difficult, but crucial discussion, that sadly far too few people have.

The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) applauds the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for proposing a rule to pay providers for discussing advance care plans with their patients under Medicare Part B. NAELA previously sent a letter to CMS advocating for these changes last October.

NAELA members are attorneys who are experienced and trained to provide legal advocacy, guidance, and services to enhance the lives of people as they age. Its members work on a daily basis with aging Americans and their families to help fulfill their clients’ wishes by preparing legal documents that provide advance directives in the event of death or incapacity — documents such as living wills and powers of attorney.

“Having a frank discussion about how you wish to spend the last moments of your life is a difficult, but crucial discussion, that sadly far too few people have,” said NAELA President Shirley B. Whitenack, Esq., CAP. With Medicare now providing reimbursement for advance care planning, NAELA and other advocates hope more of these discussions will take place.

Studies have found that advance care planning increases the chance that a person’s wishes are followed and that a person dies in their preferred location, which for many NAELA clients is in their homes. The research also shows that these discussions reduce the stress of family members and caregivers as they cope with the loss of life.

About NAELA
Members of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) are attorneys who are experienced and trained in working with the legal problems of aging Americans and individuals of all ages with disabilities. Established in 1987, NAELA is a non-profit association that assists lawyers, bar organizations and others. The mission of NAELA is to establish NAELA members as the premier providers of legal advocacy, guidance and services to enhance the lives of people with special needs and people as they age. NAELA currently has members across the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit NAELA.org.

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Abby Matienzo, Communications Associate
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