As of August 1, 2011, IBC, in partnership with Vital Decisions, an independent company, began offering the Living Well Program to Medicare Advantage HMO and PPO members who have a serious illness and may need support in making end-of-life health care decisions. The program provides health care counseling and decision support services and is available at no cost to Medicare Advantage HMO and PPO members.
Vital Decisions’ specially trained counselors work with Keystone 65 HMO and Personal Choice 65SM PPO members who are experiencing difficult health care situations. Members are identified through claims data and case manager or physician referrals.
Through a series of telephone conversations with the member and his or her family, the counselors help educate, discuss, and work through the important topics of advanced illness and life planning. The Vital Decisions counselor’s role is to help individuals identify their quality-of-life preferences and to help them actively and effectively communicate their priorities to family and physicians. This service helps to ensure that more effective shared decision-making processes occur and helps to align decisions with the individual’s priorities and goals.
The Vital Decisions counselors will at no time interfere with the physician-patient relationship, provide medical advice, or provide an opinion regarding the member’s care plan. Vital Decisions believes that the counseling program enhances communication between the member and his or her physician and the overall patient-physician relationship.
Vital Decisions currently works with multiple national, regional, and local health plans across the country. Its Living Well Program has been recognized as a Best Practice in Consumer Protection and Empowerment by URAC.
To refer a patient to the Living Well Program, complete the online case management referral at www.ibx.com/case_mgmt_ref_form or contact IBC Case Management at 1-800-313-8628.