Vancouver Business Journal

Thu04172014

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 Business Growth Award finalists announced

Business Growth Award finalists announced

14 businesses have been named finalists for the Vancouver Business Journal's 201...

Is Food Processing part of Port “Comprehensive Scheme”?

Is Food Processing part of Port “Comprehensive Scheme”?

The leaders of a Clark County food processing company will bring their efforts t...

Developers cautious but developing

Developers cautious but developing

Although the Great Recession is behind us, many businesses and individuals are s...

Exploring Business Case for Tesoro-Savage Oil Terminal

Exploring Business Case for Tesoro-Savage Oil Terminal

In a few weeks, Tesoro-Savage will publish an economic impact study, conducted b...

The Art of the Deal

The Art of the Deal

Local business transaction attorneys agree -- deals are deals. However, they als...

Excursion company bringing riverboat, regional office to Vancouver

Excursion company bringing riverboat, regional office to Vancouver

The American Queen Steamboat Company (AQSC), a Memphis-based excursion/tour comp...

Design & Construction

Commercial development: Building for tomorrow

Commercial development: Building for tomorrow

If commercial developers feel like circus performers walking a tightrope, there is good reason.

Limited financing, escalating regulatory and raw material costs, and still-low property valuations make penciling out a project difficult. And yet, workforce trends and emerging technologies demand designs that look to the future.

Build to the budget

According to Ron Frederiksen, president of RSV Bui...

Real Estate & Development

Developers cautious but developing

Developers cautious but developing

Although the Great Recession is behind us, many businesses and individuals are still feeling the effects. Local developers were some of the hardest-hit, and for a few years now have been consistently saying that they’re still digging their way out. As building season for 2014 gets underway, we checked in with a few local developers to see how business is looking for this year and beyond. Are we fi...

News Briefs

Ten things: How to better connect with your legislators

Seven state legislators gathered at the Heathman Lodge this afternoon to discuss the previous legislative session in Olympia with members of the business community.

Participants in the second annual “Legislative Review Luncheon” included Sen. Don Benton; Sen. Annette Cleveland; Rep. Paul Harris; Rep. Ed Orcutt; Rep. Liz Pike; Sen. Ann Rivers; and Rep. Brandon Vick.

Spotlight

Blind Onion Pizza poised for future growth

Blind Onion Pizza poised for future growth

Gene Schwendiman brought 30 years of restaurant management and operations experience to Blind Onion Pizza in 2001. Over the years, the number of stores expanded and contracted, slicing into new territory until three separate markets developed – Portland, Vancouver and Reno. The ownership group agreed to divide and conquer, each partner retreating into individual entities, with Schwendiman focusing...

The elephant in the room

There are two experiences everyone who lives on this planet shares - birth and death.  Birth is something we don't have awareness of and tend to experience through stories from our parents. Death on the other hand is a much more personal, first-person experience.     

There are two experiences everyone who lives on this planet shares - birth and death.  Birth is something we don't have awareness of and tend to experience through stories from our parents. Death on the other hand is a much more personal, first-person experience.     

Because our culture is one of life, few of us spend much time thinking, much less talking, about how we would like to die. As Congress and the nation have entered into the healthcare reform debate, how we die has become the elephant in the room. 

One of the facts about healthcare expenditures is that a disproportionate share occurs in the last year of life. A large percentage of these costs can further be classified as "futile care" since they neither change health outcomes nor improve the quality of life. Because our cultural and healthcare delivery system focuses on life, we are seldom willing to step back from aggressive treatment and ask the question, "Why are we doing this?"

The good news is there are alternatives in the form of Palliative Care and Hospice. Both of these programs work with the patient and their families to help them on their journey while allowing them to make their own decisions on which paths they would like to take. 

Palliative Care is available to anyone who is faced with a life-threatening illness and is still seeking curative treatment. It provides assistance with pain and symptom management, emotional and spiritual support and assistance with navigating the healthcare system.

The most important aspects of Palliative Care may be the support in establishing and clarifying the goals of care and providing education regarding the end of life. When the time comes and that cure is no longer an option, transition to Hospice care allows the patient and family to focus on quality of life. The primary goal is controlling symptoms so that life can be enjoyed as long as possible. Wherever hospice care is provided, there is an interdisciplinary team working with both the patient and the family to provide physical, emotional, and spiritual support and education.

From a public policy perspective, Hospice has the additional benefit of saving Medicare approximately $2,300 per patient. These savings are mainly the result of reduced "futile care" that does nothing to change the outcome or enhance quality of life.

One of the challenges of healthcare reform is the added cost of insuring an additional 40 million people. Legislation currently debated in Congress calls for about 50 percent of the cost to come from reduced Medicare expenditures - causing a reduction in Hospice and Home Health, two of the most cost-efficient Medicare programs.

In addition, the state of Washington is looking to totally eliminate Hospice for Medicaid to help solve their budget challenges.

On the federal level, Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden has offered an amendment to the Senate bill that reduces the Hospice cuts. As of press time, Sen. Maria Cantwell and Sen. Patty Murray, both of Washington, have not signed onto this amendment. 

If you have an interest in preserving options for everyone on their end of life journey, please contact Senators Cantwell and Murray and urge them to endorse the Wyden amendment to the Senate's healthcare reform bill.

For more information on Hospice and Home Health, visit the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization at www.nhpco.org.

Marc Berg is director of HomeCare and Hospice at Southwest Washington Medical Center in Vancouver.

Opinion

Focus Column

Building “failures” and how to avoid them

Building “failures” and how to avoid them

The recent collapses of the I-5 Bridge over the Skagit River and the floor of the Vancouver Warehouse and Distribution C...

“THINK”ing about construction

“THINK”ing about construction

A surprising resource in Clark County is the “THINK!” program, which is a collaboration between the Building Industry As...

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