Sarah Lawrence College’s Graduate & Professional Studies program has launched a course to train physicians and healthcare professionals in discussing end-of-life care preferences.

Advance Care Planning for Primary Care Practitioners is an online non-credit, self-paced, four-hour CME, CEU certificate in Advance Care Planning for practitioners and practices that receive Medicare B reimbursement, the college said.

“As the population ages, there is a greater need for information, tools and analysis for healthcare professionals, caregivers and the general public on how to deal with dying,” said Rebecca O. Johnson, MSCED, MFA, Program Director, End-of-Life Care Program, Sarah Lawrence College Graduate & Professional Studies. “Advance Care Planning for Primary Care Practitioners not only provides physicians with the expertise to talk to their patients about planning for end of life, but with the tools they need to bill under Medicare.”

The college noted that in a recent survey, while 99% of physicians said advanced care planning discussions were important, only 71% said they felt equipped to do so, and few bill for it. Medicare has allowed physicians and other eligible providers to be reimbursed for these conversations since 2016.

The course tackles how to conduct quality-of-life conversations, understanding legal and ethical obligations to patients in advanced care planning, and instruction in accessing and completing ACP forms.