chevron-down Created with Sketch Beta.

Vol. 37, No. 1 (September-October 2015)

Volume 37 Issue 1   September 2015



If There is No Advance Directive or Guardian, Who Makes Medical Treatment Choices?

Because questions about surrogate decisions are so grave and the existing knowledge so scant, in the Spring of 2015, the ABA Commission on Law and Aging conducted a focus group of physicians at the March meeting of the Society of Hospital Medicine. The group included 22 hospitalists from 13 states, with a medical experience range of from five to 32 years. While small and not conclusive for research purposes, the focus group began to shed light on how the laws are perceived and used on the ground in hospital settings (although other clinicians may have different perspectives).


Person-Centered Planning? Not Without Family Caregivers!

Medicaid helps low-income beneficiaries stay home by providing funding for home and community-based services (HCBS). This care is vital but not without flaws. In 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued new rules on person-centered planning, designed to ensure that the services provided are tailored to individuals’ needs plus their goals and preferences. States vary in their implementation of these rules, but even where they are fully in effect, sometimes the important voices of family caregivers are left out of the conversation.


Twenty-Five Years of the Americans with Disabilities Act: A Brief Look

Fashioned with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as a guide, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides comprehensive legislation on the equal protection of individuals with disabilities. The purpose of the ADA is to allow the full participation of individuals with disabilities in society through independence in their living arrangements and finances. With this aim, the ADA addresses the four critical topics of employment, state and local government activities, public accommodations, and telecommunications.


Summary of Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Rule for Covering Cost of Advance Care Planning Services

On October 30, 2105, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released it final physician fee schedule for 2016 [CMS-1631-FC], approving two reimbursement codes for advanced care planning (ACP). While the rule is final and effective January 1, CMS invites further comments on the rule by December 29, 2015. This article provides a summary of the details of the rule, paraphrasing CMS’s explanation of what the rule means in practice and its responses to several issues that were raised in some 725 public comments they received during the comment period.

BIFOCAL, A Journal of the ABA Commission on Law and Aging

BIFOCAL, the Commission on Law and Aging's bi-monthly journal, provides timely, valuable legal resources pertaining to older persons, generated through the joint efforts of public and private bar groups and the aging network

Reprint Requests

All ABA content is copyrighted and may be reprinted and/or reproduced by permission only. In some cases, a fee may be charged. To protect the integrity of our authors’ work, we require that articles be reprinted unedited in their entirety. To request permission to reprint or reproduce any ABA content, go to the online reprint/reproduction request form.