What is Advanced Care Planning?

Advanced Care Planning (ACP) is defined as a process that supports individuals in understanding and sharing their values, goals and preferences for future medical care. These care decisions are then formally documented in an Advance Directive, a forward-thinking legal document that empowers individuals, their loved ones and their care teams to make the right healthcare decisions moving forward. ACP facilitates physicians providing patients with the right care, at the right time, in the appropriate setting.

By providing education about disease progression and the risks and benefits of different treatment options, individuals can create a care plan that truly enables them to achieve their quality-of-life goals.  Likewise, by documenting and distributing these care decisions, ACP ensures that individuals’ care preferences are understood and followed throughout their healthcare journey, creating a higher quality care experience overall. ACP is associated with reduced hospitalization, receipt of less intensive treatments, increased utilization of hospice services.

Iris Empower

Empower is FREE to all Douglas County Residents. UHA is committed to helping our community through their advance care planning Empower program powered by Iris Healthcare. Empower is available to ALL Douglas County residents (non-UHA members included) 18 and older. The goal of Empower is to improve the quality of health care in our community. This is a self-directed digital program that assists people to create their own ACP documents. Click here to get started.

Patient & Provider FAQ’s

Iris Healthcare is our partner for providing advance care planning (ACP) services to patients dealing with serious illness.

ACP is important because it has been shown to improve patient and family satisfaction, help get patients the care they want while avoiding unwanted treatments, decrease the total cost of care, and support the physicians in their work.

The patients are self-identified or referred to the program by providers, care coordinators or friends/family. Patients you identify as having a need for ACP can also be referred to Iris through Umpqua Health care coordination. 

Iris Empower platform creates documents that should be sent to their provider, hospital, family or other parties.

The Iris Empower process is a longitudinal one. As a disease progresses, often times patient preferences evolve. We suggest having the patient update their documents in the Empower platform.


No – the platform does not make diagnoses, give advice, or alter your treatment plan.

Iris does not use CPT codes. Patients and families do not pay for this service. However, we do make it easy for the physician and practice to utilize the two ACP CPT codes by having someone from the office review with the patient the advance directives Iris has created.

Yes. Iris has prepared a memo to provide details on how you can bill for time you and/or your staff (including RNs) spends reviewing the advance directives and following-up with your patient on the ACP discussions that they’ve already had with Iris.

If you think this service would benefit your patient, please contact our Care Coordination team at

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