Our ongoing clients sign authorizations which allow us to overcome privacy regulations and speak to just about anyone on their behalf. However, we don’t make healthcare decisions for clients. That’s another matter altogether and where an Advanced Directive or Living Will is important. That document expresses one’s desires about medical treatment at the end of life.
A related document is a healthcare proxy sometimes referred to as a healthcare agent or durable power of attorney for healthcare. This document identifies another person or person(s) authorized to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are not able to.
At a given stage in life it is important to execute both of these documents and to make sure other relatives and your doctors have them.
Sometimes your personal attorney prepares these documents for you, some state attorney general web sites have sample forms available and AARP has sample forms on its web site. For AARP information, go to www.aarp.org/home-family/caregiving/free-printable-advance-directives.
Also, please know that we would be happy to store digital copies of these forms for any of our subscription clients. We all know hackers work day and night, so we’ve gone to great lengths to see that our clients’ information is secure. Our database is accessed through a secure Virtual Private Network and all documents are scanned in to a secure remote server physically housed at our IT firm. And all that data is backed up every night to remote servers in two different geographic areas, a lesson learned from Super Storm Sandy.
If we do store digital copies of these documents for you, every year when we audit our client’s insurance cards and authorizations to ensure our information and documentation is accurate and up to date, we will also ask if you have updated these documents. Maintaining current information is always a challenge.
If you’d like us to store these documents, please forward a pdf of them or send a copy and we’ll convert the documents to a pdf and save them in our secure database. Thanks. And, as always, please call with any questions.