Vital Decisions and Aetna Better Health Team Up to Support Members and Families Facing Advanced Illness and End-of-Life Care Decisions

EDISON, N.J., Oct. 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Vital Decisions today announced a collaboration with Aetna Better Health of Virginia to extend support for seriously ill individuals and their families. The organizations will provide a telehealth program to engage health plan members in discussions about their care preferences and goals as they endure an advanced illness.

For over a decade, Vital Decisions’ clinical specialists have helped people explore, define, document and communicate their care wishes to loved ones and healthcare providers.  The result: individuals and their families feel empowered, informed and in control of their care decisions, leading to improved health outcomes, reduced stress for all parties involved and a higher quality of life experience.

“Our goal at Aetna Better Health of Virginia is to best serve our members at every stage of their lives, and to do so with compassion in trying times for individuals and their families,” said Jerold Mammano, CEO, Aetna Better Health of Virginia. “Our collaboration with Vital Decisions reflects our priority to support those facing serious illness emotionally and practically as we support them on their health care journey. The Living Well program is so effective, at scale, in improving care and bringing peace of mind.”

The Vital Decisions Living Well program empowers those facing an advanced illness to play an active role in their care decision-making process and ensure care preferences are communicated to one’s family and medical team. Ninety-two percent of Americans believe it is important to discuss their end of life wishes, yet only one in three actually do. Among those with chronic illness, less than 40% have an Advance Directive.1,2 Vital Decisions has demonstrated its ability to close this gap and improve the quality of life experience at any stage of illness.

The role of the caregiver is equally important in this program, and in honoring care preferences. Vital Decisions’ clinical specialists act as personal guides, facilitating these sensitive conversations with those who are ill and their caregivers, providing emotional support, checking on caregivers’ own well-being and connecting them to supportive resources. 

“The burden one feels when dealing with advanced illness weighs heavily on them. Having these important, delicate conversations makes care decisions clear for all involved and eases some of that burden,” said Leah Puccio, Vital Decisions’ CEO. “Aetna Better Health of Virginia recognizes the value of this, and our partnership highlights the commitment and dedication they have to their members — and how their innovative advanced illness and end of life care strategy is making a difference.”

Individuals who participate in Living Well will also have access to Vital Decisions’ secure, online advance care planning platform, My Living Voice, where they can select a healthcare proxy and complete, store and share their Advance Directive.

About Vital Decisions
Headquartered in Edison, NJ, Vital Decisions ensures that the care of individuals with serious illness or in a medical crisis aligns with their values and wishes. Enabled by behavioral science methodologies, proprietary analytics and clinical experts, Vital Decisions provides collaborative decision making and advance care planning support for all members of a population through a suite of telehealth and digital solutions. The services help individuals and their families think through, communicate and document their preferences to ensure their care is aligned with their wishes – now and in the future as their medical situation changes. Vital Decisions’ solutions include personalized discussions with highly trained clinical specialists, education and referrals to palliative care, hospice and other available services, and online tools to document and share advance care preferences.  These result in improved quality and high satisfaction among individuals, their families and their doctors. For more information visit www.vitaldecisions.net.

Footnotes:
1  The Conversation Project National Survey 2018
2  Health Affairs: https://www.healthaffairs.org/doi/abs/10.1377/hlthaff.2017.0175

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