Vital Decisions Endorses Commitment by HHS Secretary Nominee Becerra and Sen. Whitehouse to Improve End of Life Care

EDISON, N.J., March 3, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — During last week’s Senate Finance Committee confirmation hearing, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary nominee Xavier Becerra and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island agreed to work together on a pilot project to improve the end-of-life care experience for individuals and their families.

Having supported more than 300,000 individuals and their families through advanced illness decision-making, Vital Decisions offers its knowledge, evidence base and recommendations in support of expediting wide scale improvements in end-of-life care.

Research shows that individuals who receive advance care planning services are more likely to have conversations about their end-of-life care wishes, a turning point that increases the likelihood of receiving care that is consistent with their preferences and associated with better quality of life and greater satisfaction. Research also shows that having these conversations earlier in the illness trajectory has the most meaningful impact on the care experience, when the individual and the family can make optimal, unpressured decisions.

From its vantage point as an essential partner to Medicare, Medicaid and Commercial plans nationwide, Vital Decisions offers policy considerations for advance care planning best-practices delivered on a national scale:

  • Increase broad access to advance care planning services delivered by specialized behavioral health clinicians through a telehealth model.
  • Proactively engage individuals with serious illness, along with their caregivers, in Goals of Care conversations as a covered healthcare benefit.
  • Utilize evidence-based methods of intervention that demonstrate impact with diverse and underserved populations to improve access to care.
  • Leverage a coordinated, technological infrastructure to streamline the integration of advance care plans across the healthcare ecosystem.

When these best-practices are employed, Vital Decisions observes clinical evidence proving that activating and empowering individuals, their family and caregivers is transformational:

  • Increasing satisfaction with care planning: Survey data from over 30,000 program participants shows an overwhelming 88% of respondents highly value the advance care planning process. 
  • Reducing unwanted, unwarranted care: More than 35 economic impact studies of the advance care planning provided through Vital Decisions’ Living Well program show that care aligned with an individuals’ preferences is consistently 20% lower in cost compared to care that does not incorporate personal preferences.

“Individuals and their families need significantly more help with the emotional side of care. We applaud Becerra and Sen. Whitehouse for making this a priority — it’s a personal issue for us too. We must make far greater and faster progress on behalf of all Americans,” said Leah Puccio, Vital Decisions’ CEO. “Our organization was founded to change healthcare decision making for the better, at scale. We offer our platform as a research conduit to fast-track our government and policymaking partners’ efforts.”

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About Vital Decisions

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.  Vital Decisions is headquartered in Edison, NJ.  Visit

Media Contact:
Sheena Desai

SOURCE Vital Decisions

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