A specialist social worker explains the key information about advance care planning and why it is so important for you and your loved ones. See video on YouTube.
Advance care planning is the process of thinking about, communicating and documenting your future health care wishes in case of illness, accident or sudden medical event.
Prevea360 Health Plan wants to ensure that your health care wishes are known and respected. Social workers are available to help any member over age 18 begin or continue the process of advance care planning.
Your advance care planning social worker can help you:
As part of good medical care for you and your family, it’s important for all patients to have advance directive documents filed with your provider.
An advance directive is a legal document that states how you want your health care decisions to be made if you become incapacitated or cannot express your wishes. An advance directive helps guide your doctor and your loved ones about the care you wish to receive.
Both the Power of Attorney for Health Care and the Declaration to Physicians (Living Will), when properly completed and signed, are essential parts of good planning and medical care. They not only help physicians, family and friends honor your wishes, but also relieve the pressure of decision-making at a potentially stressful time.
The most important document is the Power of Attorney for Health Care form, which allows you to appoint someone to make treatment decisions on your behalf if you're unable to so.
The person you appoint should be:
Your agent may be a spouse/partner, trusted relative or friend. This document can also include information that specifies your treatment preferences.
The Declaration to Physicians (Living Will), is a type of advance directive that lists specific medical preferences. It is sometimes used as an addendum to a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care. It's also called a “directive to physicians,” “health care declaration” or “medical directive.”
Note: This form can be used when an agent is difficult to assign. In such case, one can work with their physician to discuss and complete this form.
To complete a Power of Attorney for Health Care form and/or a Declaration to Physicians, follow these steps:
Submit your completed forms to a physician's office or,
SSM Health Central Storage Warehouse
PO Box 259840
Madison, WI 53725
You can make an appointment with any of your doctors to discuss advance care planning. This is a billable service.
You may state in the Power of Attorney for Health Care any types of health care that you do or do not desire.
You may limit the authority of your health care agent.
You may indicate an alternate health care agent if your primary agent is ever unable or unwilling to make decisions for you.
If you have appointed an agent for Power of Attorney for Finance and Property, this person does not have the authority to make health care decisions on your behalf, unless you have also appointed them as agent for Power of Attorney for Health Care. It is common for people to appoint one agent for health care decisions and another agent to handle financial matters.
If you also have a valid Declaration to Physicians (Living Will), the Power of Attorney for Health Care supersedes any conflicting directives in the living will. In other words, your agent has the authority to make a different decision from your Declaration to Physicians/Living Will, if the declaration does not match what they understand to be your treatment preferences and wishes. You should be sure that the person you appoint as your agent is someone you trust and who will always honor your wishes.
Two physicians, or a physician and a psychologist, nurse practitioner or physician assistant must declare that you no longer have capacity to make decisions for yourself (e.g. a persistent vegetative state or lost mental capacity), before your agent can make health care decisions on your behalf.
If you aren't able to locate or download forms, you can request up to two forms free of charge by sending a stamped, self-addressed business-sized envelope to the Wisconsin Department of Health & Human Services:
Power of Attorney
Division of Public Health
PO Box 2659
Madison, WI 53701-2659
Many clinic sites have forms available. Do not hesitate at your next visit to ask your doctor for advance directive forms.