Vancouver Business Journal

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Tidland Corporate Center sold for $3.3 million

Tidland Corporate Center sold for $3.3 million

Tidland Corporate Center, a 64,000-square-foot industrial building and 6.03-acre...

Introducing the Accomplished & Under 40 Class of 2014

Introducing the Accomplished & Under 40 Class of 2014

The Vancouver Business Journal is pleased to announce the Accomplished and Under...

East county bridge proposal causes contention within freight industry

East county bridge proposal causes contention within freight industry

After $200 million taxpayer dollars were spent on the botched Columbia River Cro...

Angels bringing ideas to light

Angels bringing ideas to light

Most new businesses come to being with a great idea. How to get that great idea ...

Vancouver-based children’s apparel brand sold to Utah investor

Vancouver-based children’s apparel brand sold to Utah investor

Oakiwear, a children’s apparel brand headquartered in Vancouver, has been sold t...

Creatives converging on Washougal

Creatives converging on Washougal

It’s hard to say exactly when it started, but the city of Washougal has quietly ...

Banking & Money Management

Angels bringing ideas to light

Angels bringing ideas to light

Most new businesses come to being with a great idea. How to get that great idea from concept to marketplace reality is often what separates them.

Entrepreneurs can come into business with substantial investment and savings of their own, enjoy a low overhead-quick return scenario or be completely reliant on financial help.

“When you are in a position where you get to decide if you wish to seek ou...

Education & Workforce Development

WSU Vancouver: Enhancing the business community for 25 years

WSU Vancouver: Enhancing the business community for 25 years

25 years ago, Washington State University opened its Vancouver branch on the Clark College campus. From the very beginning, the university has been closely tied to Clark County’s business community, and those partnerships have grown even stronger over the last quarter-century.

WSU-Vancouver Chancellor Emile “Mel” Netzhammer joined the campus in July 2012, and has glowing praise for the relationsh...

News Briefs

From the List: Private Schools (2014)

What are the largest private schools in Clark County? We ranked them by total number of students enrolled in the 2013-2014 school year.

Spotlight

Dynamic Events finds success in service & technology solutions

Dynamic Events finds success in service & technology solutions

When you attend a conference or a large corporate event, you might assume that the registration process will be smooth, dinner will be served on time, and the speakers’ presentations will work flawlessly. But Allison Magyar, president of Dynamic Events, doesn’t take any of these details for granted.

“We provide complete meeting and event management and software, plus registration services and gra...

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

Now is the time for apprenticeships

Now is the time for apprenticeships

There is much talk of the “skills gap” – the widening space between the technical skills that employers need and the ski...

Towne Square project is a win for the local workforce

Towne Square project is a win for the local workforce

Our economy continues in fits and starts to recover. Workers struggle to find employment providing a living wage. Famili...

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