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New Solution Simplifies Life's Most Difficult Healthcare Decisions

Thursday, February 11, 2010 General News J E 4
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Embark Health's Advance Directive Solution is the Most Comprehensive System to Make Advance Directives Really Work

DAYTONA, Fla., Feb. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- The huge gap between current healthcare practices and patients' wishes for end of life care is finally resolved, as Embark Health today launches the Advance Directive Solution: the first easy, affordable and comprehensive system to make advance directives work the way they were intended.

Advance directives are legal documents in which individuals specify their healthcare wishes should they be unable to speak for themselves, and appoint a healthcare agent to advocate on their behalf in that situation. Currently, only one in five Americans have one. Unfortunately, in a healthcare crisis, these documents are often not observed.  

The dilemma of end of life planning gained national prominence in 2009 as a proposed element in the plan for national healthcare reform. A polarizing debate over possible "death panels" obscured the real intent of end of life planning: empowering individuals to determine how they want to be treated, and ensuring that these decisions are respected and carried out.

"Americans have the right to have their wishes respected in the most important healthcare decision of all: how they want to be treated when they cannot speak for themselves," stated Ken Burdick, Chairman of the Board of Embark Health Inc.,  and a former senior executive of United Healthcare. "That's why Embark Health developed the Advance Directive Solution: to make the advance directive valid, clear, current, and available when needed, and to ensure that the family and the health care agent know the patient's decisions before a crisis occurs."  

According to Burdick, the problem with advance directives today is threefold:

  • They are not available when they are needed.
  • They may not be up-to-date.
  • The family and healthcare agent may not understand what the patient really wanted.

Embark's Advance Directive Solution offers:

  • An electronic repository for current, valid advance directives from all 50 states.
  • Telephonic assistance to help members complete their document.
  • Online and 24/7 telephonic systems to ensure that healthcare providers have access to the document when needed.
  • Systems to let the medical team know that there is an advance directive available through Embark.
  • Processes to inform and educate healthcare agents and other people in the person's "Circle of Care" of the patient's wishes.

Individuals can sign up directly to become members of the Advance Directive Solution for an annual membership fee, or they may enroll through sponsorships offered by their health plan, hospital, physician, employer, association, or charitable organization.  

In addition to its other features, Embark Health is unique in offering an easy-to-follow interactive video that even further simplifies understanding both advance directives and Embark's Advance Directive Solution. Powered by Jellyvision, this experience is custom-tailored to every visitor, educating each one based upon his or her particular situation and familiarity with advance directives.

"Healthcare executives and professionals are all too familiar with the turmoil and conflict that occurs every day as millions of people face serious healthcare crises and the end of life process," said Michael Brouthers, Embark Health Founder. "Patients often receive invasive, painful and expensive healthcare services they do not want. Families experience tremendous guilt and regret, wondering if they made the right decisions. Embark's Advance Directive Solution makes this very difficult situation easier by bringing the patient's wishes into the discussion, and alleviating the burden of guessing from both the family and the healthcare team."  

For more information about the Advance Directive Solution, visit www.embarkhealth.com/ADS, or call 800-944-0451.

About Embark Health

The mission of Embark Health, Inc. (www.embarkhealth.com) is to improve the end of life process for patients, families, loved ones, caregivers, and healthcare providers. Embark's Advance Directive Solution (ADS) is an online service (with telephonic assistance available) to help people develop the appropriate legal documents that communicate their healthcare choices if they are unable to speak for themselves. Embark's ADS stores the document, contacts members if the laws change and their directive needs updating, notifies the people that the member has determined should have this information, and works with healthcare providers to get the directive in the patient's medical chart when it is needed. For more information, contact 800-944-0451.

SOURCE Embark Health

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