The Importance of Advanced Healthcare Directives

Prioritizing Health and Safety: The Importance of Advanced Healthcare Directives

The health and safety of our clients and the community is of the upmost importance to us. As we all continue to monitor this ever-changing situation with COVID-19, we’d like to take this moment to remind you of the importance of updating your healthcare directives (if you have not done so). Or if you have not created an advanced healthcare directive, we are committed to helping you plan that out every step of the way. Caring for you and your loved ones on life’s journey is why we are here to serve you.

Understanding Advanced Healthcare Directives

An advance healthcare directive is a legal document in which a person specifies what actions should be taken for their health if they are no longer able to make decisions for themselves because of illness or incapacity. A living will is one form of an advanced healthcare directive, which leaves exact instructions for treatment. Another form is a power of attorney or health care proxy, in which the person authorizes someone to make decisions on their behalf when they are incapacitated.

The Role of HIPAA Authorization in Healthcare Planning

We encourage client to complete both documents as well as a HIPAA authorization form to provide comprehensive guidance on their care. HIPAA authorization allows medical facilities to disclose medical records to an individual that would otherwise not be permitted. For example, if you were caring for an elderly parent and needed access to their records, a HIPPA authorization would help you facilitate that.

Reviewing Your Estate Plan: A Checklist for Preparedness

Take this time to review your will or trust and make sure they are accurate based on your wishes. We are always at risk of death or incapacity, but you can prepare for the expected and unexpected today. See our checklist below on how you can prepare more.

  • Do you have an advanced healthcare directive?
  • Have you named a durable power of attorney?
  • Do you have a healthcare proxy?
  • Do you have a HIPAA authorization set up?
  • Do you have a beneficiary listed? Have they been notified?
  • Do you have an executor or personal representative to act on your behalf? Have they been notified?
  • Do you have a designated emergency contact? Have they been notified?
  • Are you a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate)? Ambulance and hospital emergency department personnel are required to provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) unless they are given a separate directive that states otherwise. These directives called “prehospital medical care directives” or “do not resuscitate orders” are designed for people whose poor health gives them little chance of benefiting from CPR. These directives instruct ambulance and hospital emergency personnel not to attempt CPR if your heart or breathing should stop.

We’re Here to Help

Should you find yourself in need of assistance, please contact us and one of our team members would be glad to assist you quickly and virtually. We are even offering a drive thru service option for signatures on legal documents. Together, we’ll help you protect more.