Billing for end-of-life care talks grows, but barriers remain

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Advance-care planning (ACP) is the keystone of goal-concordant care, enabling patients to state their treatment preferences while they still have the mental capacity to do so. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has acknowledged this by accepting two reimbursement codes for these essential conversations. A study in JAMA Internal Medicine led by Professor Emmanuelle Belanger indicates ACP billing is growing significantly, although most of the physicians who are likelier to engage in these conversations still don’t use the codes, suggesting there are barriers to initiating these end-of-life talks, or documenting them, or both. A related commentary highlights tools for having more effective conversations.  Read more.