Advance Care Directives

January 12th, 2011

Part of Medicare's requirements for its new Annual Wellness Visit is the opportunity for the patient to discuss advanced care planning with a provider. 

Yes, it seems providers are now expected to be doctors and lawyers.

Thanks to caringinfo.org, the task need not be daunting. This website has many tools to assist your patient with advanced care planning including free downloadable state specific advance directives with comprehensive instructions on how to accurately complete it.

If your patient is computer-literate, you may provide him/her with a link to the site.  If you patient needs a little help in the computer usage department, you can download the forms for the patient to complete.

The site offers many additional tools for your patient and caregivers such as brochures on how to choose an agent and on how to be an agent.

If your patient has an Advance Care Directive, please obtain a copy for the patient's file.  Alternately, the patient my choose to use a free service such a Google Health that allows the directive to be stored securely online.  Login information can be given to health care providers as needed.

In any case, a provider needs to know if there is and Advance Care Directive.  If there is, who is the patient's agent for healthcare decisions.

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