Powers of Attorney for Health Care and HIPAA Authorizations

Who will make medical decisions for you if you cannot communicate? If you are in an accident, disabled, or seriously ill, you may be unable to communicate with your physician or loved ones regarding your medical care.  A Health Care Power of Attorney allows you to appoint a person you trust as your health care agent, who is then authorized to make medical decisions on your behalf upon your incapacity or inability. Your agent is authorized to make all general health care decisions for you when the time comes that you are not able to do so on your own.  Within your Health Care Power of Attorney, you will provide specific instructions concerning end of life decisions such as life support measures and organ donation.

Recent laws also restrict access to your private health information which can hinder your family’s ability to talk to your doctors or receive necessary updates.  This law is called HIPAA (The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).  Because of these restrictions on your private health information, every person over age of 18 needs to execute a HIPAA Authorization as well as the Health Care Power of Attorney.