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Senate Finance Committee staff have issued a draft of legislation to address chronic care issues (PDF), which includes asking for a report to Congress to inform the development of a Medicare payment code for creating a long-term care plan for a beneficiary diagnosed with a life-threatening illness such as Alzheimer’s disease.

The General Accountability Office would be tasked with identifying the extent to which such a longitudinal care planning service currently is provided to beneficiaries, whether there are already codes that would make the proposed code duplicative and any “barriers to hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, hospice programs, home health agencies and other providers working with a Medicare beneficiary to engage in the care planning process.”

The GAO also would assess the need to develop quality metrics related to care planning, which Medicare beneficiary would be the most appropriate to receive such as comprehensive long term care planning services and the providers best suited to offer the service as part of an interdisciplinary team.

Separately, President Barack Obama issued a proclamation this week, naming November National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month

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