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New Free Service Brings Advance Medical Directives Into 21st Century

MyDirectives is a new, free-to-consumers, easy, convenient and secure platform that brings advance medical directives online, allowing hospitals and families to better cope in times of crisis and giving individuals control over their medical wishes even in the worst of situations. Advance medical directives are documents that give instructions about future medical treatment preferences in case you become unable to make decisions or can’t communicate, or if a court determines that you are incompetent. Advance medical directives generally include living wills and medical powers of attorney, as well as "do-not-resuscitate" or "do-not-attempt-resuscitation" orders.

Nearly 30 percent of all US Medicare spending—just over $165 billion in expenses—is for treatment during the last year of life—often treatment that, when asked, patients do not want. The MyDirectives platform dramatically improves the quality of emergency, trauma and end-of-life health care while reducing cost. Its mission is to help every adult in the world create, update, store and retrieve a quality advance care plan to be used wherever necessary in those cases when the adult is not able to communicate.

A growing elderly population and the dramatic rise in healthcare costs associated with end-of-life medical treatments created a flash point in 2009 when draft healthcare legislation included language that would have reimbursed physicians for providing voluntary counseling to Medicare patients about living wills, medical powers of attorney and end-of-life care options. Opponents erroneously dubbed this "a death panel" to suggest that the government could determine eligibility and make medical decisions, and the language was removed, often leaving people more in the dark about their options and how to make their desires known. MyDirectives seeks to address the issue by educating and empowering consumers to make their own thoughts known.

Easier Advance Directives

For people and their families, MyDirectives represents a significant improvement over current methods of creating, updating, storing and retrieving advance medical directives. As a free, web-based system, consumers can create and update their documents at any time. Patent-pending technology allows users to include audio and video messages to their caregivers and share information of their choosing to enhance the confidence that a person’s wishes will be known, understood and honored.

"Speaking personally as one who has worked closely with legislators and others to enhance advance care planning, and as one familiar with a myriad of other advance care planning processes and tools across the country, I can confidently say that MyDirectives is visionary," said Robert L. Fine, MD, FACP, Clinical Director, Office of Clinical Ethics and Palliative Care at Baylor Health Care System in Dallas, Texas.

"No longer should patients be handed a clipboard on the way into surgery," said Jeff Zucker, CEO of ADVault, MyDirectives’ parent company and a privately held Dallas-based corporation with consumer and enterprise-facing solutions for the healthcare industry. "Every day, consumers are seeing the benefits of real-time solutions for travel, finance and retail. We are pleased to be the first to bring this level of ease to such a serious healthcare issue. It impacts all of us."

"Doctors and nurses try to provide the best care," said Scott Brown, ADVault President, "but when the patient can’t communicate, the medical team needs access to quality advance medical directives. MyDirectives can help doctors and patients avoid tragic ‘death panel’ situations right now. No new legislation, no bureaucracy. Consumers can take charge, for free, and have their voice heard, 24/7, anywhere in the world at the push of a button."

MyDirectives is HIPAA-compliant, accessible independently or linked through any number of electronic medical records platforms, has achieved OIS and IRB approval and has been presented to medical and public policy experts in the end-of-life space throughout the United States, Western Europe and Asia. MyDirectives uses the patent-pending Universal Advance Digital Directive (uADD)™, the world’s first all-digital directive. The easy-to-use uADD replaces over 200 legalistic forms and offers users the chance to include audio and video messages, all designed to create a superior advance care plan. Doctors and end-of-life experts agree that the best advance care plans can significantly improve the quality of end-of-life care for the patients and their families.

For more information and to create your advance medical directive today, go to http://mydirectives.com.