Medical Directive & HIPAA Release

Advanced Medical Directive aka “The Living Will”

An advanced medical directive to physicians, commonly known as the living will lets others know what medical treatment you would want in the event that you are facing a terminal or irreversible condition.

At the time you sign a living will, you choose how you wish the doctors to act in these situations in the event you can’t express your wishes yourself. If you don’t have an advanced medical directive, medical care providers must prolong your life using artificial means, if necessary. With today’s technology, physicians can sustain you for days and weeks (if not months or even years).

HIPAA Release to Medical Providers

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) significantly restricts access to an individual’s identifiable health information.  Only you and individuals authorized by you can access this information.  While it is great that your information is protected from the general public, this can become problematic if you need someone else to gather information for you when you are unavailable.

A standardized HIPAA Release will allow you to designate trusted individuals to access your health information when you need it.  When you direct someone to gather information, they will simply provide a copy of this release to the provider.

The beauty of this document is that it becomes active upon your signing.  You will not need to be incapacitated for it to work. If you are incapacitated, your medical power of attorney agent will have a list of helpers on this document that can gather information for them while the agent stays at your bedside.  But, you could simply be sick and not want to get out of bed.  You do not even have to be ill. You could be out on vacation and unable to talk to a provider.  You will be able to direct anyone on this document to gather information for you at any time.

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