Late last week, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a Final Rule under which it will reimburse clinicians who conduct advance care planning (ACP) conversations with their patients who are seriously ill. This change, effective January 1, 2016, is yet another indicator of the current paradigm shift in which payers not only appreciate the importance of establishing a trusting relationship between patients and their clinicians, but recognize that developing these relationships takes time – time that must be paid for.

“The purpose of the ACP code is to ensure that clinicians truly understand what is most important to the patients and their families so that, as the future unfolds, the care provided can support their highest priorities”, says CAPC Director, Diane E. Meier, MD. “As America’s largest payer, CMS is sending a strong signal to the health care system at large that it recognizes the irreducible value of the clinician-patient relationship.”

CAPC applauds this change and looks forward to working closely with CMS and other stakeholders to ensure that patients will receive care that effectively manages their symptoms and improves their overall quality of life. For more information on how this policy change will improve the lives of patients with serious illness, view the CMS Fact Sheet as well as recent coverage from CBS Evening News.


CONTACT: Lisa Morgan, LDM Strategies, 212-924-6182 or