Do Your Adult Children Have a Medical Advocate?

It’s ski season and my family is heading out west for some fun in the snow. It always seems like there’s so much to pack (jackets, skis, poles, helmets, gloves, etc.), but there are two more items that I require my adult children to bring:

• HIPAA Form*

• Healthcare Directive Form

Snow skiing can be a dangerous sport. So, if an emergency ski accident arises, I don’t want anything standing between myself and the hospital when it comes to my adult child receiving the best medical treatment. You see, I want to be their advocate, and to do that the hospital needs to know that I have been given that authority. That’s why I carry (on my digital device) a HIPAA and Healthcare Directive form for each of my adult children. The signed HIPAA form (pre-signed by the patient giving me authority) allows me to confer with the medical staff, whereas the Healthcare Directive form allows me to make medical decisions if the patient is unable to speak for themselves.

When you show up at a hospital with these forms in hand, the hospital administrator immediately knows he/she can discuss the patient’s situation with you. It’s like you’ve been instantly upgraded in how you’re treated. The staff appreciates that you have come prepared and have made their job easier. Medical emergencies are always shocking and chaotic. So be prepared and add these documents to your file.

*HIPAA is United States legislation that proves data privacy and security provisions for safeguarding medical information (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996)

Gail Gill, CFP®, Worley Erhart-Graves Financial Advisors

This article was included in the Worley Erhart-Graves Quarterly Newsletter. Download the printable version here.