Content starts here

Medicare to Pay Health Professionals for Training Caregivers

En español | AARP applauds Medicare for giving final approval Thursday to a rule change to allow health care professionals to be paid solely for time spent training family caregivers.

The decision means doctors, nurse practitioners, clinical psychologists, physical therapists and other health care professionals will be able to bill Medicare in some circumstances for time spent training caregivers to implement a loved one’s treatment plan.

AARP has long called on Medicare to do more to engage with family caregivers, and we strongly supported the proposal. In September, we filed comments with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in favor of the plan and led dozens of organizations and more than 1,000 of our members in urging the agency to adopt the change.

Family caregivers provide an estimated $600 billion in unpaid care each year, saving taxpayers billions by delaying or preventing costly nursing home stays, our letter to CMS said. They are increasingly asked to perform medical tasks, such as giving injections and providing pain management, but too often don’t get the training and education they need, in part because health professionals have not been allowed to bill for those services.

“This is a huge step forward for America’s over 48 million family caregivers, who are an essential but often invisible part of almost any care team,” Nancy LeaMond, AARP chief advocacy officer, said in a statement Thursday. “It recognizes the critical role that family caregivers play, creates incentives for providers to engage with them and integrate them into the broader care team, and most importantly, it provides them with the training and support they need.”

AARP continues to work with the Assisting Caregivers Today (ACT) caucus in Congress to raise awareness of caregivers’ challenges, and we’re part of a coalition urging federal officials to follow through on a national strategy to better support them. Read our comments and letter to CMS and learn more about our caregiving advocacy.

Editor's note: This article updates one originally published on July 14, 2023, with new information.

AARP's Fighting for You Every Day Blog Has Moved

Visit to learn more about how AARP acts as your fierce defender on issues that impact adults 50-plus.