Hot Topics: Health Care

Blog Posts (656)

April 24, 2014

Income Inequality and Health: Can the Poor Have Longer and Better Lives?

by Sean Philpott-Jones, Director of the Center for Bioethics and Clinical Leadership The issue of income inequality has been in the news a lot lately. The gap between rich Americans and poor Americans has grown considerably since the 1970s. The United States now ranks first among the developed nations of the world in terms income inequality […]
April 23, 2014

A Decade’s Worth of Gene-Environment Interaction Studies, in Hindsight

Erik Parens
April 23, 2014

More Visibility and Awareness of VSED & VRFF Option to Hasten Death

I recently published my second legal analysis of VSED (VRFF) as a legal and comfortable means to hasten death.  (Here is the first.)  I am pleased to see the mainstream media devoting more attention to VSED.   I blogged about one exampl...
April 22, 2014

Ultrasound before Abortion: Consideration of Recent Research

In the January edition of Obstetrics & Gynecology was an article entitled, “Relationship Between Ultrasound Viewing and Proceeding to Abortion” by Gatter et al that has already received publicity. There is no doubt that this article will be oft-cited for many years, so it merits discussion. The authors performed a retrospective review of one year’s worth of records at Planned Parenthood clinics in Los Angeles,... // Read More »
April 22, 2014

Hospital Patients’ End-of-Life and Care Wishes Now Part of Electronic Medical Records

Lumināt today announced a development partnership with UMass Memorial Health Care for an advance care planning technology platform to integrate patients' end-of-life directives into their electronic medical records (EMR). 

Lumināt's development partnership is ground-breaking because:
  • It is the first time that advance care plans have been integrated into an EMR system.  Previously, advance care plans were filed away with a patient's physician, leaving them open to interpretation from doctor to doctor.
  • It leverages cloud-based technology to enable all providers in the UMass Memorial system to access, understand and implement the patients end-of-life wishes.
  • It helps family members capture and understand the patient's end-of-life preferences, too.
  • Ultimately, it saves the patient and family emotional and financial stress associated with unwanted health care services at the end of life.

Here is the official new release:

MINNEAPOLIS (April 21, 2014) — Lumināt announces a development partnership with UMass Memorial Health Care (UMass Memorial) for an industry-leading advance care planning platform to fully integrate patients’ end-of-life directives into their electronic medical records. This ground-breaking development partnership will equip all UMass Memorial providers to access, understand and implement patients’ wishes, reducing the cost of care at end of life while improving care quality and satisfaction of patients and their families.

“Unwanted end-of-life health care services can have a significant emotional and financial impact on patients and their families. It’s estimated that $40 to $70 billion in unwanted health care services will be delivered at patients’ end of life in the next decade,” says Tom Valdivia, M.D., M.S., chief executive officer of Lumināt. “Advance care plans should not be viewed as a ‘nice to have.’ Not having an advance care plan should be considered a medical error.”

The partnership between Lumināt and UMass Memorial will enable physicians to consistently document the end-of-life wishes from patients – from palliative care preferences and specific spiritual beliefs, to identifying the individuals who should be involved and informed in the decision-making process. The data is then fed into the patient’s electronic medical record via cloud-based technology, giving the entire provider system the same information and instructions, and helping family members understand the patient’s end-of-life preferences.

“Lumināt’s advance care planning platform integrated with UMass Memorial’s electronic medical records is a first in the industry,” says Valdivia. “Up to this point, patients completed the advance care directive on paper and submitted it to their physician to be filed away. As a result, the instructions weren’t accessible by all providers and were left open to interpretation from doctor to doctor.”

Lumināt and UMass Memorial’s development partnership is based on a shared dedication to improving care for patients near end of life.

“Unless communicated in advance, many medical treatments provided at the end of life are inconsistent with patients’ wishes,” says David Fairchild, M.D., senior vice president of clinical integration at UMass Memorial. “As UMass Memorial transitions to being an accountable care organization, we recognized the opportunity to use Lumināt technology to enable and support conversations about end of life.”

About Lumināt
Lumināt is a leading advance care planning solutions company that helps health care providers achieve the Triple Aim for people at end of life. Lumināt’s cloud-based, private-label technology offers a way for patients to document their wishes, share them with providers at the right time, and get the end-of-life care they want. Founded in 2012, Lumināt is committed to helping provider organizations deliver better care at a lower cost. For more information, please visit www.luminat.com.

About UMass Memorial Health Care

UMass Memorial Health Care is Central Massachusetts' largest not-for-profit health care delivery system, covering the complete health care continuum with UMass Memorial Medical Center, its academic medical center, member and affiliated community hospitals, freestanding primary care practices, ambulatory outpatient clinics, a rehabilitation group and mental health services. UMass Memorial is the clinical partner of the University of Massachusetts Medical School. To learn more about UMass Memorial, please visit www.umassmemorial.org, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

April 21, 2014

Medicare Choices Empowerment and Protection Act (S. 2240)

I recently blogged about the Medicare Choices Empowerment and Protection Act (S. 2240).  I have since heard quite a few bioethicists criticize this bill.     Much of this criticism seems appropriate.  There are a lot of ill...
April 21, 2014

HealthCare & Immigration: A Summary to Accompany BioethxChat Twitter Event (4/21/14)

I recently did a TwitterChat sponsored by BioethxChat on the relationship of healthcare and immigration through a bioethical lens. Here is the transcript of that chat. This was a great event and I hope self-explanatory. But Twitter’s 140 character limitation means things are expressed in such a condensed way that they might not always be […]
April 21, 2014

Easter, Fertility, Surrogacy

Most of us who celebrated Easter yesterday likely took part in the tradition of the Easter egg hunt. The egg, an obvious symbol of fertility, is an essential part of our spring celebration. Interestingly, the subject of fertility and “social surrogacy” was the focus of an article in Elle magazine last week. The piece told the story of an aging professional who felt she needed... // Read More »
April 21, 2014

People in the US Are Footing the Bill for Switzerland’s Medical Care

People have criticized The Affordable Care Act for amounting to a large transfer of wealth, from wealthy Americans to those not as well off. But the real transfer of wealth has been from United States to other developed nations, whose … Continue reading
April 21, 2014

Being Wrong is Unacceptable: The Continued Saga of Justina Pelletier

by Theresa Spranger, Bioethics Program Alumna (MSBioethics 2012) Alright, as many of you certainly know I have developed an addiction to the Justina Pelletier case.  I promise someday I will write on another topic, but today is not that day.  If you haven’t been privy to my latest obsession please see: When Doctor’s Disagree. An opinion […]