WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) introduced legislation today 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. The Care Planning Act of 2013 creates a Medicare and Medicaid benefit for patient-centered care planning for people with serious illness. It will reimburse a team of healthcare professionals for providing a voluntary, structured discussion about the patient’s goals, illness, and treatment options. A written plan will reflect the informed choices made by patients in consultation with their health care team, faith leaders, family members and friends. The Care Planning Act also provides resources for public and professional education materials about care planning.
“When faced with a serious illness, you want the freedom to control how you will live. The Care Planning Act will help align the care you receive with the care you want – no more, no less,” Sen. Warner said. “People don't like to talk about sickness or death, and families tend to put off confronting what might happen if individuals become seriously ill or unable to make decisions about their own medical care. This patient-centered approach will help your doctors and your hospital know about the choices that you and your loved ones have made. If a patient prefers to explore every possible treatment option, that choice should be respected. And if an individual prefers a different approach after informed consultations with their health team, their family and others, those choices should be documented and honored, too.”
Read the full release on Senator Warner's website: http://www.warner.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/bloghome.