Imagine you’re at home. You have cancer. You just had another round of chemo, and the phone rings.
“My name is Kate. I’m a health care counselor,” the gentle voice of the caller says from her cubicle in Cherry Hill, N.J.
This is not a typical telemarketing call. She wants to talk with you about your serious illness and, eventually, if you’re ready to think about it, what you’d like to have happen at the end of your life.
Kate Schleicher, 27, is a licensed clinical social worker. At the start of the call, she knows almost as little about you as you know about her. Except she has your phone number, she knows the name of your insurance carrier (the insurance company provided your phone number), and she knows that you’re pretty sick.
“The main goal with us talking is to make sure that you know what’s important to you and that your care aligns with what’s important to you,” Schleicher says, “so that things go the way you want them to.”
Schleicher is one of 50 or so counselors working for a company founded in 2008 called Vital Decisions. The firm represents roughly a dozen insurance companies nationally that want to, when appropriate, start discussions with beneficiaries about end-of-life care. (…) Read More Here