Share in a loved one’s care with GrandmaSays app

Share in a loved one’s care with GrandmaSays app

Posted on Friday, April 17th, 2015 at 10:21 am by lifemediamatters

GrandmaSays was created by Kate Arney-Cimino, who got the idea after a move to Los Angeles that put her close to a nursing home in which her grandmother resided. Arney-Cimino thought communication about her grandmother’s schedule for visitors or personal care needs was misfiring (Cult of Mac).

The Upside of Death and Dying

Posted on Friday, April 17th, 2015 at 10:05 am by lifemediamatters

Randi Belisomo stops by WGN's "The Bg Payoff"

Randi Belisomo stops by WGN’s “The Bg Payoff”

President and Co-Founder Randi Belisomo stopped by “The Big Payoff: With Rachel and Suzanne” and spoke about end of life-decision making and her efforts normalizing conversations about death and dying.

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National Healthcare Decisions Day and Life Matters Media

Posted on Wednesday, April 15th, 2015 at 9:53 pm by lifemediamatters

Life Matters Media President and Co-Founder Randi Belisomo spoke about National Healthcare Decisions Day and the importance of end of life-decision making on Relevant Radio.

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Life Matters Media Is A New Site Dedicated To Helping People Talk About Death

Posted on Monday, April 13th, 2015 at 10:48 am by lifemediamatters

Chicago Tribune columnist Rick Kogan shares his thoughts on death and dying, and his experience “starting the conversation” at Chicago Public Library with founders Randi Belisomo and Dr. Mary F. Mulcahy.

You will die.

While this certainly does not come as news to you, it is news you fight to ignore. You know, Dylan Thomas — “Do not go gentle into that good night/Old age should burn and rave at close of day;/Rage, rage against the dying of the light” — and all that jazz.

Rage all you like, but thinking about the inevitable is the idea behind a series of provocative and important library talks being given by WGN-TV reporter Randi Belisomo and Dr. Mary Mulcahy, Associate Professor in the Department of Hematology Oncology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

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Video Urges Hospice Providers To Treat Patients’ Terminal Prognosis

Posted on Sunday, April 12th, 2015 at 9:03 am by lifemediamatters

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) is circulating a video that encourages hospice providers to think in terms of terminal prognosis and not only principal diagnosis when caring for dying patients.

“Determining what aspects of care hospice providers are responsible for has become an issue of growing importance in recent months,” according to a NHPCO statement sent to Life Matters Media. “There is significant concern from regulators on Capitol Hill that some providers may be relying on a single diagnosis, thereby defining their scope of responsibility too narrowly, ultimately failing to provide and coordinate all the care and services that they should.”


President J. Donald Schumacher talks about treating patients’ terminal prognosis

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requires a principal diagnosis on reimbursement forms for patients using the Medicare hospice benefit. However, “principal diagnosis” is often only part of what should be reported to provide more comprehensive reasoning for a patient’s short life expectancy. In 2013, 67 percent of claims listed only one diagnosis.

Hospice care aims to provide comfort and pain management for terminally ill patients with a life expectancy of six months or less. It is most often used when curative treatments are no longer effective.

“As providers of hospice care, we must properly frame the way we think about and characterize our patients and the scope of our responsibility in providing care to them,” said J. Donald Schumacher, NHPCO president and CEO, in a statement. “The question can be asked, ‘Does this diagnosis or condition contribute to or influence the patient’s terminal prognosis?’ If so, then it is our responsibility.”

The NHPCO, the nation’s largest nonprofit organization representing hospice and palliative care programs, created the 10-minute video for use during hospice staff meetings and training. Jonathan Keyserling, senior vice president of health policy, said a series of complex issues needed clarification among providers, including a congressional mandate to reform payment methodology..

“An effective tool is to look at all those items that are connected to the prognosis that qualifies a patient and their family for hospice services under Medicare,” Keyserling said. “It’s really a reiteration of the existing statute. The Affordable Care Act has nothing to do with this affirmation.”

Although the video is not targeted to patients and families, Keyserling hopes it encourages them to have a conversation about their end of life care wishes, even if it does not involve hospice.

“We think it’s critically important that families sit down and have a conversation about their goals and objectives at the end of life,” he added. “It’s therapeutically neutral, but we encourage families to have that conversation so that there are no surprises, so that when a patient is not able to speak, then their loved ones have a good idea about what that patient would have wished.”