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Importance of Advanced Directives

As the seasons begin to turn, it is important to stress the need to have your advanced directives in place. Advanced directives include:

  • A health care proxy;
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) release form;
  • A living will; and
  • Power of attorney.

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Health Care Proxies and Power of Attorney

A Health Care Proxy is a document that designates an agent to make health care decisions on an individual’s behalf in the event that he or she is unable to do so. Federal regulations, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), protect the confidentiality of an individual’s medical information as well as their ability to make health care decisions. The establishment of a Health Care Proxy and the HIPAA release form are the best means of carrying out health care decisions on behalf of loved ones.
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