Few decisions are as personal and as protected as our health care. A health care durable power of attorney is a key element in any estate plan because it lays out thoughtful, clear instructions for when we can no longer make those personal decisions for ourselves. Many of us will be called upon to follow another individual’s instructions and serve as their patient advocate. Will you be ready to serve as a patient advocate? Here are some points to consider:
1) Read the health care power of attorney and the acceptance of appointment form. Determine whether you will act alone, jointly or sequentially.
2) Discuss the provisions in the health care power of attorney with the individual to ensure you fully understand their wishes.
3) Review the HIPAA provisions and determine if there is a “stand alone” document giving you authorization to communicate with doctors and be privy to the individual’s medical records.
Understand that the individual who designated you as their patient advocate may revoke that designation at any time. Similarly, you may revoke your acceptance of the designation at any time. If you intend to revoke your acceptance, you should communicate accordingly with that individual so they can decide to designate another patient advocate. For more information on serving as a patient advocate, feel free to contact David Mammel at Chapman Law Group at (248) 644-6326.