As the old saying goes, the only things that are certain are “death and taxes.” And, although we’ve seen tons of startup companies based around the need for money and finance solutions. However, when it comes to death–our society is so lacking in battling something the MOST inevitable of times. However, one doctor from rural California has begun a project to offer a service that no one yet has ventured into—easing the physical and emotional pain of dying.
Dr. Michael Fratkin is the founder and director of ResolutionCare, a service that provides mentoring and expertise to people at the completion of their lives. It began as a way for Fratkin to manage the complicated problems of each patient more than he was able to within the hospital system. He knew he needed to start his own operation. And, despite creating a a risky startup company, it already is off to a great start. In fact, while it ran an crowdfunding campaign, it exceeded its monetary donation goal–taking in 137% of their goal $137,390 total.) Fratkin, uses his experience as a primary care physician as well as a director of a hospice, to create programs which hopefully will start this year.
In addition to being fronted by Dr. Fratkin, he is backed by his skilled set of professionals; a nurse, a social worker, a community health worker, and supporting staff. Their mission is to “bring capable and compassionate care to everyone everywhere…” at the end of their lives. Additionally, they will work to serve the families and healthcare providers who are in the midst of handling the care of a terminally ill person.
How does ResolutionCare work?
ResolutionCare is trying to use traditional “home-visits” to provide their Palliative Care, both with house calls and virtual house calls—there’s no clinic. To virtually video conference with clients, they have partnered with Project ECHO (at the University of New Mexico.) Fratkin manages the medications dying people need to take—ones that help with pain and nausea. He helps them control their fears and make decisions about what treatment routes are best for them. Spirituality is thrown in the mix, too. The goal is to be able to treat seriously ill people anywhere.
When someone is close to death, there’s different paths for everyone. Some cancer patients get so sick and uncomfortable from chemo-treatments that it ultimately is best for them to stop treatment. Making the right choices sometimes just needs the assistance of experienced professionals. It can be assuring, even during the most uncertain stage of life.
Not only would ResolutionCare physically come to aid sick people. They also plan on selling training to other doctors, especially those in rural areas, so that they can be better equipped for handling dying patient treatment.
How do people pay for this palliative care?
However, one problem with this idea is figuring out how clients are going to be able to pay for this service. Medicare and Medicaid won’t pay for video visits. Physical home visits that get paid, don’t get paid well. Fratkin is currently looking for donors and foundation grants so that services can be affordable for clients. They are considering asking well-off patients to possibly pay out of pocket for their services in the future, though.
If you would like to donate to support the ResolutionCare project, you can do it through Community Initiatives.