Advance Care Planning

Examples of advance directives include:

  • A living will, which is a written statement of healthcare wishes to be carried out if you are unable to communicate (for example: decisions related to life support, disabling pacemakers or defibrillators, nutrition, dialysis)
  • A healthcare proxy, sometimes called a “healthcare surrogate” or “healthcare power of attorney,” which allows you to name a family member or trusted friend to speak on your behalf and make decisions when or if you are unable


  • Since January 1, 2016, Advance Care Planning is paid under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule and Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment Systems. The new CMS Advance Care Planning Fact Sheet (PDF) provides details on how to code ACP services, provider and beneficiary eligibility information, how to bill ACP services, examples of ACP in practice, as well as other resources.

Advance care planning is making decisions about the care you would want to receive if you become unable to speak for yourself. These are your decisions to make, regardless of what you choose for your care, and the decisions are based on your personal values, preferences, and discussions with your loved ones. If you are in an accident or have an illness that leaves you unable to talk about your wishes, who will speak for you? You can tell your family, friends and healthcare providers what your wishes and personal beliefs are about continuing or withdrawing medical treatments at the end of life. Advance care planning includes:

  • Getting information on the types of life-sustaining treatments that are available.
  • Deciding what types of treatment you would or would not want should you be diagnosed with a life-limiting illness.
  • Sharing your personal values with your loved ones.
  • Completing advance directives to put into writing what types of treatment you would or would not want should you be unable to speak for yourself.

Advance care planning means:

  • Understanding possible future health choices
  •  Thinking about these choices and reflecting on what is important to you
  •  Talking about your decisions with loved ones and your healthcare providers
  •  Putting your decisions in writing


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