Advance Care Planning Education

*Due to the pandemic spread of the Coronavirus, group sessions have been suspended until further notice.  However, individual appointments are still available*

Are you able to accurately identify who your legal next-of-kin is?  Are you sure?  Ok, who is second in line, if your primary person is not available?  Believe it or not, most people answer either one or both questions incorrectly!  These are the people who are legally in charge of your care if you have not documented otherwise.  Is this who you would hand pick to manage your healthcare if you are unable?

How do you feel about organ donation?  Does your family know how you feel?  How long does an endotracheal tube stay in place?   What replaces that tube and when?  Why?  You are probably wondering what in the world that tube even is and you are by no means alone!

These are important things to know and not something you want to find out in the moment.  I promise to answer these questions, and many more that you did not even know that you had when you attend one of my Advance Care Planning education sessions.  If you care for someone who is unable to understand the information, like if they have dementia, Medicare recognizes your need to know about their options and will pay for you to attend in their place.

Essentially, voluntary Advance Care Planning education is a face-to-face service between a physician (or other qualified healthcare professional, such as myself) and a person discussing situations that may occur in the future, with or without completing the relevant legal forms.  Even if you have an advance directive in place, you will likely benefit from attending an educational session.  NO REFERRAL NEEDED

In fact, while we are discussing Medicare, I would like to add that I do not bill for the full ‘allowable amount’ fee.  Whaaat?  A provider that turns down money?  Yes!  This was a strategic solution that ensured Medicare recipients receive services to which they are entitled, yet people who do not have the privilege of being insured by Medicare, could still afford my important educational services.  I am that passionate about what I am doing!

Available Options

Live and Up-close

An in-office group presentation about situations that frequently come up when someone is hospitalized and recovering from a serious illness.  Audio/visual aids are used and all questions are answered.  I charge a flat fee of $75.  However, I do accept Medicare, so co-payments and deductibles apply.  If your deductible has been met for the year, a Medicare recipient’s co-payment is $15, for an hour long session.

Healthcare Head’s Up

Worried about what is in store for your aging parents and how you fit into the picture?  By learning about commonly encountered situations before they occur, you will be better positioned to act quickly, protecting your family’s best interests.  Attend a workshop designed to help you understand what may be in store for the people who you love, in the not so distant future.  Fee to attend is $75.

*You are not obligated to complete an Advance Directive when attending any of the workshops. However, I will be glad to help you, should you decide to do so!

You Are the Focus

For those folks who prefer to meet with me privately to discuss their options.  You get the same information that I provide in the group sessions, without prying ears or eyes.  This allows for a more open discussion of your particular situation.  I charge the same $75 fee as in the group sessions.  If you are having difficulty traveling, I can and will make a house call!  If you would like to complete an Advance Directive, a competent witness over the age of 18 is required to attest to your signature (it is OK if they are related to you).

Short and Sweet

With this option, your main goal is to get the Advance Directive document completed and notarized.  It takes about 15 minutes and I charge $50.  We sit down and complete an Advance Directive form together.  I notarize the document and provide you with the original. Copies can be made for $10 a set.  A competent witness over the age of eighteen is required to attest to your signature.

Schedule A Personal Appointment:

Clicking the Book Now button will take you to our on-line scheduling system at Patient Fusion.

Register to take one of my Advance Care Planning Workshops:

There are no upcoming events at this time.

What to Expect

Coming to visit my office will be a little different than going to see a physician.  I am not going to check your weight, your blood pressure or draw any blood.  I am going to offer you a comfortable chair and talk to you for about an hour.  If you decide to complete an Advance Directive, it may take about an hour and a half.  I require a deposit of $75 to reserve your seat in a session.  This fee will not be refunded for missed sessions.  I do not bill Medicare for the full allowable amount.  This means I leave money on the table.  I do this so I can offer the same service to everyone else at an affordable cost for this important service.  If you have Medicare and have met your deductible for the year, your co-payment will be $15 to attend.  You will receive the appropriate amount of change after attending.

The beauty of the information I provide is that it is just that:  it is information.  You are at no time obligated to complete an Advance Directive.  If, after the presentation, you do elect to complete an Advance Directive for healthcare, assistance will be provided.  I am also able to officially notarize the document, at no additional cost to you.  I will provide you with three sets, so you can have one to keep and one to give to each of the people you listed as agents within the document.  I will also send an electronic copy to your primary care provider, for your convenience.

Rest in the assurance that if your health situation or opinion changes, you can make changes to the Advance Directive at any time you wish, as many times as you wish.

Anticipate:

  • A meeting that is free of environmental distractions, whether in a group or one-on-one, that usually takes less than an hour of your time
  • If you choose to meet with me one-on-one, please bring a competent person over the age of 18 to serve as a witness (a second witness is required when you sign the actual document but they do not have to be present for the education session)
  • Frank information about navigating our healthcare system
  • Clarification of common misconceptions
  • Answers to any questions you may have
  • Leaving with originals and copies of any documents created during the session

Please be sure to bring: 

  • Reading glasses to be able to read the documents
  • Picture identification and Medicare card
  • A person over the age of 18 to act as a witness, if not attending a group session
  • Name of primary physician
  • Addresses and telephone numbers of the two people you intend to nominate as your healthcare agents

Why Me?

I am passionate about providing information to the people who really need it, before they really need it!!  Ask anyone who works in healthcare and they will likely tell you it is painfully obvious that most people do not exercise their right to elect the type of care they would want, and who should be contacted and how, should they experience an episode of critical illness and be unable to speak for themselves.  This is a set-up for misery that is replayed in hospitals across this great country on a daily basis.

I am here to bridge this horrifying gap in knowledge!

I will help my clients recognize, as I did long ago, that we are all too often having life-altering conversations with the wrong individuals, at a time when those people are too overwhelmed to make hard choices.  No one wants to lose a loved one.  When asked, “What do you want us to do?” Any family member or close friend would say, “Do everything you can do!”  I have also witnessed many decisions made from a place of guilt or with a financial motivation.  They may be operating on limited knowledge because you have never discussed your wishes.  I believe this is happening because no one is truly working to help people understand.

I am here to bridge this horrifying gap in knowledge!

I am a valuable resource and uniquely positioned to help!  I draw upon my vast experiences working within different health systems, initially as a unit secretary as a teenager, all the way through decades of experience as an excellent critical care nurse and a diligent case manager.  I also have my own experiences on the other side of the bed, as a recipient of healthcare services.  I fully intend to change the culture of avoidance and remove the taboo from speaking about situations before they occur.  I promise to provide information you can trust in a warm and nonthreatening environment.

On top of the lack of Advance Care Planning information, most people do not know what the standard Medicare benefits are and are not.  Do not feel badly, even people who work in healthcare are also ignorant to the various limitations in coverage.  The time to learn a little about how the system works is not when you have had the wind knocked out of your sails, say from a surgery, an infection or a stroke.  Unfortunately, illnesses never happen at a good time and none of us are immune!

I am here to bridge this horrifying gap in knowledge!

I am an expert who can parlay important information in a way that is understandable.  I want to help people to understand the process, long before they need to know, so they are prepared.  In this way, they are able to give a true gift to those they love:  peace of mind.  By taking easy but prudent steps, some of the hurt can be avoided in often intensely painful circumstances.  This is especially the case, if you are in a situation where your legal next-of-kin is not the person you would choose to make those decisions.

Who knows?  You might even have a good time!