For Immediate Release:
May 24, 2012
Contact: Ari Geller, West End Strategy Team
(202) 776-7700, Ari@westendstrategy.com
New service provides medical patients a voice in emergency medical decisions
MyDirectives protects patients' wishes and cuts healthcare costs
DALLAS - Scott Brown thought he knew what his ailing grandmother would want to do, if only she could communicate clearly. Getting the rest of the family to discuss it, much less agree on a course of action, proved much more difficult. The result? Years of going back and forth between a nursing home and a hospital causing stress, tension and guilt for the family.
Realizing the struggle he faced was not his alone, Brown, a lawyer, partnered with businessman friend Jeff Zucker to create MyDirectives.com - the world's first all digital solution to advance care planning. The site is free to consumers - hospitals pay a nominal, reimbursable download fee - and allows people to be confident their medical wishes can be found 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, anywhere in the world.
"I was happy to partner with Scott to create MyDirectives because a member of my own family had been unable to make decisions she knew her fiancé would want," said Zucker. "When he died in his 30s of a sudden heart attack, my relative was prevented from implementing his wishes because they weren't yet married and he'd not yet created his directive. Instead, the responsibility fell to his estranged sister who made all the wrong decisions. The guilt and pain of not being able to do what he wanted never goes away."
In addition to protecting patients' wishes, MyDirectives is part of a number of new innovative solutions that decrease healthcare costs. "Nearly 30 percent of Medicare spending is used to pay for treatment during the last year of life - adding up to more than $165 billion for care that, when asked, most patients do not want," said Brown. "For years, world governments and health leaders have tried to get people to document their wishes, but very few have. Doctors from Australia to the United Kingdom, consumers in Russia and Singapore have reached out with encouragement that, finally, this often ignored aspect of patient-centered healthcare can enter the 21st century by simply engaging with consumers about what they want and don't want."
MyDirectives.com's outside-the-box approach is already making a difference. Users in over 30 states and 11 countries have logged on to create their own advance directives.
"No more filling out forms on a clipboard again and again," said Zucker, "or worse, franticly searching for a signed legal form you've not looked at in years that's buried in a file somewhere when your loved one is in the hospital with a sudden emergency."
MyDirectives' patent-pending approach features the Universal Advance Digital Directive (uADD)™, the first all-digital directive accepted worldwide. The easy-to-use uADD simplifies more than 200 legalistic forms used throughout the United States, and offers users the chance to include audio and video messages, designed to create a superior advance care plan. The new service is also the first advance care platform to receive "meaningful use" certification from the Department of Health and Human Services after MyDirectives proved itself to be an effective tool in improving the care that medical providers are able to give to their patients. The certification means that hospitals are eligible for incentive payments from Medicare and Medicaid under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) when using this technology.
This EHR Module is 2011/2012 compliant and has been certified by an ONC‐ATCB in accordance with the applicable certification criteria adopted by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. This certification does not represent an endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or guarantee the receipt of incentive payments.