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Let’s Change the Way We Care for People With Serious Illness - Now

The following message is an essay by Michael D. Fratkin, MD on the need for end-of-life planning and compassionate care.

It’s personal. 

When we hear that we have a terrible illness that will shorten our life, it’s personal.  When we learn about the benefits and trade-offs of the tests and procedures that will decide what treatments and medicines may help us, it’s personal.   As we make our way through side effects, complications, insurance plans, phone calls, waiting rooms, pharmacies, labs, radiology departments, billing departments, emergency rooms, intensive care units, medical jargon, bad news, good news, family conflict, family meetings, caregivers, nursing homes, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, psychotherapy, medication lists, medication interactions, medication errors, advance directives, wills, and the many losses, it’s personal.

Our living and dying are not medical. While it’s a natural truth that we all die, the last chapter of life is better centered in our homes and with our families.

We need guidance, not guidelines.  As we face to hardest challenge there is, we want to be seen as we see ourselves…as the people we are with the people that love us.  We want to chart our own course on our own terms.  We want healthcare providers that understand that we are not malfunctioning machines, exploitable consumers, or anything less than people like they are.  We want to get the most possible benefit from medical technology and we need help to avoid the many pitfalls our fragmented and complex healthcare system.

It’s personal.

ResolutionCare is just such a team of professionals providing such care to people in their homes, and sharing this perspective to improve care wherever people with serious illness seek value in our healthcare system.

The economics of providing healthcare to those of us with serious illness are changing fast.  As a society, we are realizing that “more” is not better. Programs like ResolutionCare are being developed across the country and driven by the value defined by people as satisfaction with their experience and well-being, rather than by how many encounters or procedures that can be billed.  That’s a very hopeful sign of sanity.

Why is ResolutionCare different? We are working towards a better system of treating serious illness in two ways:

Through case-based learning, healthcare providers receive:

  • Mentoring and Feedback
  • Continuing Professional Education from an interdisciplinary team that knows how to deliver high quality palliative care
  • Better satient satisfaction
  • Cost savings to people that experience easily avoidable suffering

 

  • Through house calls and virtual 

house calls, patients receive:

  • Care in their homes long before hospice can help
  • Autonomy, empowerment and self-determination as they realize that they are included in choice making
  • Incalculable savings in time, money and wellbeing by avoiding hospitalizations, unnecessary costs and stress

Where do you come in?

We need your help now to stand up for those facing the end of their lives. We are building the ResolutionCare on the strength of good sense, a great business plan, and a perfect moment as our society is engaged now in an electrified conversation about the nature of how the care for people dying should be provided by the rest of us that are under the illusion that we are not dying. 

We are funding our start-up with an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign because this project belongs to the more than 1100 people that have died under my care in the last seven years.  ResolutionCare belongs to the community of families that understand the value of this work far better than I do.  ResolutionCare belongs to my community here in Northern California. ResolutionCare belongs to any and all in this global neighborhood that resonate with our goals and want to join us in bringing respect, kindness, and skills in service to those making their way through the greatest challenge all of us will face.

 

It’s personal.

So step in, sign up, and spread the word about this “pay-it-forward” moment.  ResolutionCare will honor every penny raised and we are ready to make as big a difference in the world as we can.  How far we go will depend entirely on how personal you make this for you, your family, and you all those that you love.

 

In community,

Michael D. Fratkin, MD
Father, Husband, Brother, Son, and Friend

 

 

 

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