Improve the health of the people of Wisconsin by supporting and strengthening physicians' ability to practice high-quality patient care in a changing environment.

Annual Honoring Choices Wisconsin conference highlights successes in advance care planning

Representatives from 29 health care organizations across the state gathered in Madison last week for Honoring Choices Wisconsin’s third annual Sharing the Experience Conference. The event not only spotlighted the Wisconsin Medical Society’s progress in improving advance care planning, but also set the stage for an important announcement from WPS.

Michael Ostrov, MD, medical director of network and quality at WPS Health Solutions, said effective Sept. 1 for eligible members, WPS Health Insurance and Arise Health Plan will pay for an initial 30-minute advance care planning counseling session and up to two additional 30-minute sessions within one calendar year. Click here for the press release from WPS.

“To spend some resources to do advance care planning is really a triple win,” Dr. Ostrov said. “It’s wonderful for the person, it’s wonderful for their family and loved ones and really it values, as it should, the good work all of you are doing and your teams are doing.”

Since the Society launched Honoring Choices Wisconsin (HCW) in September 2012, more than 6,000 patients have engaged in conversations about their future medical decisions, including end-of-life preferences, with facilitators trained through HCW. These conversations help patients understand their health care treatment options, appoint a health care agent, clarify goals, weigh options about the kind of care and treatment they would want or not want and communicate those wishes to family, friends, clergy, physicians and others.

Bookending Dr. Ostrov’s morning announcement was the last speaker of the day, Society member George “Chip” Morris, MD, who shared his family’s story. Doctor Morris spoke about his daughter’s medical scare when she was 18, and also of his parents and how his mother—“a woman ahead of her time”—spoke openly to her children about her wishes for the end of life and had an advance directive in place when she suffered a stroke.

“She was fully prepared,” Dr. Morris said of his mother.

Other conference highlights included:

  • The introduction of four new HCW participating organizations, as well as a fifth group, which just started its trial implementation. (See related Medigram article.)
  • Recognition of three advance care planning champions: James Milford, MD, of Watertown Regional Medical Center in Watertown; the Rev. Chuck Omre-Rogers of Meriter-UnityPoint Health in Madison and Toni Kesler, MSN, RN, of Vitas Healthcare in Milwaukee.
  • Showing a 3-minute community engagement video, produced in collaboration with Wisconsin Public Television and made possible by a grant through the Wisconsin Office of Rural Health.

Click here to view photos and links to all the presentations. The video, also available in Spanish, is available here on HCW’s website. Click here to the Society’s Facebook page to see more photos from the conference.

Through HCW, the Society serves as a conveyer, coordinator and catalyst to build clinical systems based on the Respecting Choices® First Steps® model, combined with outreach in communities across the state.

The name “Honoring Choices Wisconsin” is used under license from the Twin Cities Medical Society Foundation.
RESPECTING CHOICES® is a registered mark used under license from Gundersen Lutheran Medical Foundation, Inc.

Back to October 29, 2015 Medigram