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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
July 30, 2014     Feather River Bulletin
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July 30, 2014

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8C Wednesday, July 30, 2014 DUIItLIII, ecoru, Progressive, Kepor(er Lassen Medical Center 00the Expert Living will, power of attorney save money, family conflict ne of the hard lessons we are learning about health-care reform is that while we are fixated nationally on the Affordable Care Act, there really is no single solution that will fix our nation's health system. Rather, many solutions will need to be found in actions taken by individuals and large organizations that ultimately will transform a health system to provide better care and enhanced service at lower costs. I believe one of the solutions is a relatively easy action that each of us can take to make an immediate impact: Complete a living will and a medical power of attorney, The short time Peter Fine is president spent preparing these documents has a very real potential to and CEO of Banner Health significantly decrease health-care costs as well as provide a needed improvement in the quality of life and enhance dignity for those who are in the dying process. An important added benefit is the peace of mind this can provide for families. A living will is a one-page document describing the kind of care you do or do not want if you are unable to make your own health-care decisions. A medical power of attorney identifies the person who is empowered to make health-care decisions for you if you are unable to make them. In 2010, the media reported Medicare costs skyrocketed to $55 billion for care during the last two months of life. Yet, various surveys indicate that one-third or less of Americans have made their choices and wishes known through these documents. This leads me to believe the lack of living-will and medical-power-of-attorney documents was a major factor in these costs. I also question how effectivethese expenditures were in supporting better patient care and improved quality of life. Further, with the growing number of Baby Boomers coming into Medicare every day, this number is surely increasing. ! believe now is the time to ask our elected officials in Washington"to consider making the completion of a living will and medical power of attorney a requirement in the Medicare application process. Of course, there may be concern among some about the appropriateness of government involvement in making this intensely personal matter a requirement of Medicare benefits. /would ask these people to consider that the completion of these documents preserves and Strengthensindividual choice, keeps the highly personal discussion about dying within the privacy of the family, and has the real potential to save tens of billions of dollarsl I would encourage readers to contact their elected officials and recommend they support such a change. On a daily basis, in hospitals acrossthe country, the lack of a living will or medical power of attorney significantly Contributes to confusion and sometimes harsh arguments within families huddled over dying loved ones. One child insists that morn or dad just wants to be left alone to go peacefully without complex, uncomfortable and sometimes painful treatments that won't change the inevitable; another child insists that the parent wants everything that can be done to be done, even if the efforts are futile. Obtain a living will and medical power of attorney, and discuss your desires with your family members or others close to you. This won't fix the health system but, if enough people take this action, it has the potential to lower the costs for health care by tens of billions of dollars and enhance the quality of life of those who are dying, while providing peace of mind for their families. New quality senior program manager at BLMC Ctaudia Hermes, a registered nurse, wit[ draw from 22 years of nursing experience in various settings, to help assure Banner Lessen uses practices that are based on research to provide the highest quatity patient carei This,:,,, rote haSbeen redesigned hospitat'and was cleated on reviewing patient outcomes Ctaudia Hetmes and mallng sure evidence-based :' practices are fottowed. Hermes wit[ work with a network of quality managers throughout Banner HeaLth. "The federal government tells medical fac!tities there are benchmarks, standards and goats they have to meet. My job is to make sure we,re doing that," Hermes said. A Banner Health the goat is to reduce variabitity and increase retiabitity through standardizing the quatity of care our patients receive. This new rote supports teadership and fronttine workers to exce[ in providing quatity ctinical care. He[mes served in the Army Reserve Nurses Corps for eight years, starting in Lexington, KY. She worked at hospitats in But[head City, AZ, and taught nursing ctasses at a tocat community co[[ege there. In Clear Lake, CA, she worked for Adventist Health where she helped build a $12.5 million Emergency room. Most recentty, she was the administrative director for rural, health ctinics in Ctear Lake, CA. Hermes is two classes away from completing her master's degree in management and leadership ontine through Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA. She said she and her husband were rooking for a community where they can settle down and took forward to retirement. She atso wanted a hospital where she could accomptish goats in her nursing career. "Susanvi[[e and Banner Hearth seem to be a great fit," she said. She visited with people around the community to [earn more about the hospital and heard many positive comments. PRESENTS v FUN OLYMPICS August 23, 2014 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Lessen County Fairgrounds 195 RusseLt Ave. Bring your famity and join us for fitness, food and funl Fun activitiesl Nine-hote Frisbee gotf Bounce City. water stides. obstacte course Pirate Mania ProfessionaI.Huta Hoop and Jump Rope Lesson Face painting Tug of Wars .... and Much More Dandythe Smokeless Dragon andJeremy Germ Educational. booths : Emergency vehicl.e disptays from the Cal.ifornia Highway Patrot and other tocat taw enforcement Dentat Screening b, Indian Health Services This event is brought to you by the Banner Lessen Medical Center Foundation. Inc with support from Banner Lessen Medical Center