Care Planning Act

The Care Planning Act (S. 1439)

In August, 2013 Senator Warner and Senator Isakson (R-GA) introduced bipartisan legislation designed to give people with serious illness the freedom to make more informed choices about their care, and the power to have those choices honored. When faced with serious illness, patients want the freedom to control how they will live. The Care Planning Act will help patients get the care they want: no more, no less.  It offers a patient centered approach to pre-planning for care. 

The Legislation includes the following: 

Individual care planning and coordination of services

  • Creates a new Medicare and Medicaid benefit called Planning Services for beneficiaries with advanced illness, including team-based discussion of your goals of care and values, explanation of disease progression, exploration of a relevant range of treatment options, and a documented plan that reflects the individual’s goals, values, and preferences.
  • Directs CMMI to conduct an Advanced Illness Coordination Services demonstration which will deliver wrap-around, home-based services to beneficiaries who need assistance with two or more progressive  disease-related activities of daily living;

Quality metric, education and resource development

  • Directs HHS to develop quality measures that measure concordance among the individual’s goals, values, and preferences, the documented plan, treatment delivered, and outcomes;
  • Increases awareness of care planning by launching a national campaign, and funds the development of innovative communication resources;
  • Provides grants to develop materials and maintain a web site with information about advance care planning, portable treatment orders, palliative care, hospice, and planning services;
  • Directs HHS to include information about advance care planning in the official Medicare & You handbook;

Portability and Documentation

  • Creates a default standard to focus providers on your treatment preferences when you are unable to communicate and don’t have your preferences recorded on a legally enforceable document
  • Requires documentation or referral for planning services at discharge from health facilities

Study, Innovate, and Report

  • Creates a Senior Navigation Advisory Board comprised of a diverse range of individuals, including faith leaders and advocates, that will advise the Secretary on implementation of the Act;
  • Directs HHS to study the storage and accessibility of planning documents;
  • Requires GAO to report on the provisions of the Act;

Restrictions and Requirements

  • Prohibits the use of funds in violation of the Assisted Suicide Funding Restriction Act of 1997.
  • Requires that all services be free from discrimination based on advanced age, disability status, or presence of advanced illness 

News Clips

Here is some coverage of the Care Planning Act of 2013:

        Wall Street Journal: Senators Revive Push for End-of-Life-Care Planning

The Care Planning Act of 2013 will be introduced Thursday  by Mr. Warner, a Virginia Democrat,  and Mr. Isakson,  a Georgia Republican, who want to give seriously ill patients and their families the chance to receive thorough information about their prognosis and counseling from health- care providers, paid by the government. [9/1/13]

The Tennesean: Elderly need options for palliative care 

End-of-life care is not only an issue facing us as individuals, though: The health care system also has reached a critical mass. High costs and low patient value are not sustainable. It’s time for a different model of care. [10/20/13]