Healthcare Dive

20 July 2016

Forty percent of patients today do not have an advance directive, explains Scott Siemer, health care strategist at Kurt Salmon. Why? Despite Congress passing the Patient Self-Determination Act (1990) mandating that hospitals and skilled nursing facilities ask patients about advance directives, physicians were never compensated or incentivized to provide patients with this type of end-of-life counseling. As of January 2016, due to the CMS Physician Fee Schedule final rule, physicians and registered nurses will now receive a small payment tied to such counseling.

Per Siemer, “Having advance directive conversations with patients upfront—in order to determine desired patient outcomes, including whether hospice care is right for them—can help reduce overall health care spending.” According to Siemer, per-patient hospice spending is, on average, 30% less than non-hospice patient spending. Especially as more Baby Boomers age, these types of advance directive conversations will become increasingly critical.

Read the full article at Healthcare Dive