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Oftentimes, loved ones will have a difficult time accessing an elderly person’s medical information relating to any condition that he or she may have. A health care proxy designates an agent to act on someone’s behalf in the event he or she becomes incapacitated and is unable to make decisions for themselves. A comprehensive health care proxy may also include language that allows an agent to select physicians on the person’s behalf.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which is a federal regulation, makes ascertaining a person’s medical information almost impossible without a properly executed health care proxy. An attorney may incorporate comprehensive language in the health care proxy that gives an agent the ability to have access to medical records and other healthcare information. It is worth mentioning that signing a new health care proxy revokes an existing health care proxy. Oftentimes, an experienced attorney will draft a more comprehensive health care proxy than those used by hospitals. This means that signing a basic hospital health care proxy form in a hospital will revoke the comprehensive document that was executed by an attorney.
In addition, it is important that a HIPAA release form is signed and attached to the health care proxy, which allows an agent to access a person’s healthcare records. A HIPAA release form helps make the process of accessing medical records possible. Furthermore, sometimes a power of attorney is required in order for an agent to communicate with Medicare personnel or another health insurance company. A power of attorney designates an agent to act on a person’s behalf for all matters. To ensure that an agent is able to communicate with Medicare personnel visit https://www.medicare.gov to access a Medicare online authorization form.
Establishing a comprehensive estate plan with the proper advanced directives may help decrease the risk of complications when a health care emergency arises. If you do not have a comprehensive estate plan that includes the necessary advanced directives, it is important that you speak with an experienced estate planning attorney who can assist you.
Goldberg Sager & Associates is experienced in handling all aspects of estate planning and elder law and is dedicated to providing compassionate and cost-effective solutions to its clients. Contact the Brooklyn estate planning attorneys at Goldberg Sager & Associates at (347) 497-3245 for a free phone consultation.