Fallon Health offers support in advanced illness care planning and decision-making 

Worcester, Mass., October 21, 2019― Fallon Health today announced the launch of an innovative program that helps individuals with complex and advanced illnesses work with their loved ones, caregivers, and medical care providers to clarify, document and communicate their care wishes as their health changes. 

The Living Well Program enables individuals to engage in a collaborative decision-making process that ensures the care they receive in the last phase of life aligns with their values and preferences. It is available to members of NaviCare HMO SNP and SCO — a Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plan and Senior Care Options program — and Fallon’s Medicare Advantage HMO, Fallon Medicare Plus, formerly known as Fallon Senior Plan. 

Care management options for advanced illness are also available through Summit ElderCare®, Fallon’s Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), and Fallon’s three MassHealth Accountable Care Organizations (ACO): Berkshire Fallon Health Collaborative, Fallon 365 Care and Wellforce Care Plan. 

Specific services covered by Fallon include: 

  • Hospice care.
  • Palliative care consultations. 
  • Advanced directive discussions with Fallon’s case managers at regular touch points.  

“Advanced illness conversations are emotional, complicated and unfortunately uncommon,” said David Brumley, M.D., Vice President of Medical Affairs for Fallon Health. “We are pleased to help members improve their readiness to engage in those conversations while developing the skills and confidence they need to clearly express their desires, goals and wishes.” 

According to the Conversation Project, an organization dedicated to reducing the cultural barriers to end-of-life discussions in society, 90 percent of patients say such discussions with family are important, but only 27 percent actually have them. 

Fallon is offering the Living Well program in collaboration with Vital Decisions, a leading organization in supporting advanced illness decision-making. Clinical specialists from Vital Decisions guide individuals and their families in thinking through, documenting and communicating the member’s personal preferences, both in the immediate term and when their medical condition changes. 

“Studies show that meaningful conversations about one’s wishes ahead of a life-limiting condition can be beneficial for everyone involved, including loved ones. Not only do they provide comfort and peace of mind, but they also lead to less stress and an easier grieving process,” said Leah Puccio, President of Vital Decisions. “Fallon Health is known in the industry for its commitment to delivering high-quality care. We are pleased to be supporting this commitment by serving Fallon’s members and families at the most difficult time of their lives.” 

“There is nothing more personal than discussing one’s wishes for care during an advanced illness. Helping our participants and their loved ones navigate conversations and make clear their preferences during these challenging and emotional times is something we do with great compassion and respect for the process,” said Robert Schreiber, M.D., Vice President and Medical Director for Fallon’s Summit ElderCare.

Melissa Randall
Corporate Communications Manager, Fallon Health

About Fallon Health
Founded in 1977, Fallon Health is a leading health care services organization that supports the diverse and changing needs of those we serve. In addition to offering innovative health insurance solutions and a variety of Medicaid and Medicare products, we excel in creating unique health care programs and services that provide coordinated, integrated care for seniors and individuals with complex health needs. Fallon has consistently ranked among the nation’s top health plans and is accredited by the National Committee for Quality Assurance for its HMO, Medicare Advantage and Medicaid products.

About Vital Decisions
Headquartered in Edison, NJ, Vital Decisions ensures that the care of individuals with advanced illness aligns with their values and changing preferences throughout the last years of life.  Supported by advanced technology and analytics, Masters-level clinical Specialists guide individuals, with their families, to think through, document and communicate their personal preferences to ensure that the care the individual receives aligns with what matters to them most - now and in the future as their medical situation changes.  The company enables this collaborative decision-making process across diverse populations resulting in improved quality, high satisfaction among individuals, their families and their doctors, and lower costs.  For more information visit, www.vitaldecisions.net.