Provider advance care planning

Female provider meeting with a senior man

Tips and tools for working with patients on advance directives

Eight out of 10 people say that if seriously ill, they would want to talk to their doctor about their wishes for medical treatment toward the end of their life yet only 18% report actually having had this conversation with their doctor.1

Dean Health Plan reminds providers about the importance of having the advance care planning conversation with patients. We recognize the critical role providers play in facilitating these important conversations. Dean Health Plan would like to offer questions to consider when speaking with patients about advance care planning.

The subject of Advance Care Planning can feel uncomfortable for patients. Invite patients to participate in the conversation. For example, "To provide the best possible care, I'd like to know about what is most important to you” or “I understand this can be a difficult topic. Is it okay if I ask you some questions to learn what is important to you?"

  • How would you want to spend the last month of your life?
  • What represents a good quality of life to you?
  • What concerns you most about death or dying?
  • Some people want everything possible done to delay death. Others don't want dying to be prolonged. Where do you draw the line?
  • Who should make these decisions for you if you can't make these decisions yourself?2
  • Have you documented your wishes in an advance directive?

Dean Health Plan Advance Care Planning social workers are available to facilitate advance care planning conversations and assist with completion of advance directives. Referrals can be left on the Advance Care Planning Line 608-828-1915 by providers or patients.


Survey of Californians by the California Health Care Foundation 2012 and Kaiser Family Foundation Serious Illness in Late Life Survey 2017.
The Coalition for Compassionate Care of California 2011.