An advance directive is a document in which a person makes provisions for medical care if unable to make decisions independently. The advance directive helps to extend the person’s autonomy as stated under the Patient Self-Determination Act, which establishes specific requirements regarding the area of advance directives for healthcare providers receiving funding under Medicare and Medicaid. The legislation sets the following requirements:
- Healthcare facilities must provide all patients with information regarding this act and their rights under law (especially important is information provided on patients’ ability to accept or refuse any type of medical care)
- Healthcare services or facilities must have policies and procedures for dealing with and respecting the rights of those who implement these documents
- Healthcare facilities must inquire whether the patient has an advance directive and if so, note that in the patient’s chart
- Healthcare facilities cannot discriminate against the patient based on the nature of his or her advance directive
- Healthcare facilities must comply with the state laws that oversee the requirements of the advance directive
- Healthcare facilities must provide education on advance directives for staff members and the community at large
This is an excerpt from the HCPro book, The Long-Term Care Administrator’s Field Guide, by Brian Garavaglia, PhD.