LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., March 31, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The 9th Annual National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) will be held on April 16, and observed with a number of educational events in the week leading up to NHDD. NHDD was created to inspire, educate and empower the public and healthcare professionals about the importance of advance care planning. The NHDD theme for 2016 is "It Always Seems Too Early, Until It's Too Late."
As part of its two-year Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) funded initiative on informing Long Island Medicare beneficiaries and healthcare professionals about advance end-of-life care planning, IPRO, New York-based leader of the Atlantic Quality Improvement Network (AQIN), will help promote and participate in three days of community education programs that center on NHDD.
"Individuals are encouraged to express their values, personal goals for care and wishes about end-of-life care," says Patricia Bomba, M.D., F.A.C.P., Vice President of Geriatrics at Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. Dr. Bomba is a nationally recognized palliative care, end-of-life, and elder abuse expert who has helped lead New York's efforts to establish tools to facilitate and document physicians' discussions with patients and caregivers on end-of-life wishes, is partnering with IPRO on the advance care planning initiative, and is chair of the National Healthcare Decisions Day NYS Coalition. "Persons with serious health conditions should consider speaking with their physician about Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (MOLST)," she says. "All healthcare professionals and facilities must follow medical orders that reflect the person's wishes, whatever they may be."
Dr. Bomba chairs the Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (MOLST) Statewide Implementation Team and serves as the eMOLST Program Director. The IPRO project focuses on New York State's MOLST initiative, which aims to improve the quality of care that people receive at the end of their lives by honoring their preferences, values and beliefs through a shared informed decision-making communication process with their families and healthcare professionals.
"Most people near the end of life lack the ability to make their own decisions about the treatment they wish to receive, as well as what they want to avoid," says Dr. Bomba. "A majority of patients will receive their care after a hospitalization and long-term care from physicians who do not know them. Advance care planning is essential to ensure that patients receive care and treatment that reflects their values, beliefs, goals for care and treatment." She adds: "Patients want time with their doctors to talk about end-of-life issues, and clinicians should receive the training for such discussions so they can provide quality end-of-life care consistent with their patients' values and preferences."
Among the planned NHDD 2016 programs are:
- On Thursday, April 14, at 5:30 p.m. the public is invited to attend a free educational program at the Suffolk Y Jewish Community Center, 74 Hauppauge Road, Commack, NY. Dr. Bomba will present, "Conversations Change Lives: Know Your Choices. Share Your Wishes." She will discuss the advance care planning process and define the differences between advance directives, like the health care proxy and living will, and medical orders like MOLST and its electronic version, eMOLST. To register, call the Suffolk Y Jewish Community Center at (631) 462-9800 no later than April 11. Pre-registration by this date is required.
- On Friday, April 15th at 10:30 a.m. seniors, their families and caregivers in northern and central Nassau County are encouraged to tune in to the Project Independence and You Radio Show on 88.1 FM or www.wcwp.org to hear Dr. Bomba share why advance care planning is a gift seniors give to themselves and their families and why it is important for every adult, regardless of their age and health status, to designate a health care proxy. A health care proxy is a person who is designated in advance to make healthcare decisions, in the event that one becomes unable to make one's own medical decisions. Dr. Bomba will also discuss the MOLST program and eMOLST.
- On Saturday, April 16, starting at 2:30 p.m., IPRO will partner with The Gitenstein Institute for Health Law and Policy at the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University, Northwell Health System and The Maria Regina Residence to present a free community education program entitled, "The Chat (Conversations on Health and Treatment)." The program will be held at The Maria Regina Residence,1725 Brentwood Road, Building 1, Brentwood, NY. Speakers will include Steven Walerstein, M.D., F.A.C.P., Northwell Health Associate Chief Medical Officer/Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs and Associate Professor of Medicine, Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine, and Adam D. Kahn, Senior Fellow for the Gitenstein Institute for Health Law and Policy at Hofstra University and an associate attorney with the law firm of Genser Dubow Genser & Cona, LLP. Pre-registration is encouraged. Seniors, their families and caregivers interested in attending should contact Cathy Criscuola at (631) 299-3192.
"Advance care planning is a core component of health maintenance and primary care throughout our lives," says Dr. Walerstein. "Although often thought of in terms of the elderly and end-of-life care, the possibility of needing others to make decisions on our behalf in case of illness or accident is a real one if we drive, cross streets, or go out into public areas. Designating a health proxy, and having a discussion with your family and loved ones about your wishes and goals around medical care, can be a blessing for both them and you."
Under the CMS grant, IPRO is partnering with organizations in Suffolk and Nassau counties to conduct outreach and provide educational sessions for seniors, their families and caregivers to help them better understand how to communicate with their healthcare professionals, how to make informed end-of-life medical decisions, and to ensure that their end-of-life wishes are properly carried out.
"There is a great opportunity on Long Island to develop a community-based approach to advance care planning, in order to help Medicare beneficiaries receive high quality end-of-life care that is aligned with their values, beliefs and goals," says Clare Bradley M.D., M.P.H, IPRO Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer. "National Healthcare Decisions Day represents a day to bring awareness to this important initiative. We thank our partners for both sharing their expertise and helping us reach a large audience."
The IPRO-led AQIN is one of 14 Medicare-funded Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organizations (QIN-QIOs) operating across the U.S. To learn more about the AQIN Transforming End-of-Life Care Initiative, contact IPRO Senior Director and Project Lead Sara Butterfield, BSN, RN, CPHQ, CCM at Sara.Butterfield@area-I.hcqis.org or (518) 426-3300, Ext. 104. Visit the AQIN website at www.atlanticquality.org. To learn more about the QIO program, visit www.qioprogram.org. For more information on IPRO, go to: www.ipro.org. For more information on advance care planning and MOLST, visit www.CompassionAndSupport.org and www.TheChatProject.org. For more information on eMOLST, go to www.NYSeMOLSTregistry.com.
This material was prepared by the Atlantic Quality Innovation Network (AQIN), the Medicare Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization for New York State, South Carolina, and the District of Columbia, under contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The contents do not necessarily reflect CMS policy. 11SOW-AQINNY-TskSIP-EOL-16-07
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