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Created By : Amy Nickson
On 16th Oct,20
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What to do before visiting the hospital - Here’s the legal viewpoint
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This global pandemic is like an eye-opening event for people to understand how uncertain our lives are. People are now realizing the importance of estate planning to ensure financial security for their loved ones. Yes, the estate planning and planning for a medical emergency are certainly important for all the high-risk groups, such as medical professionals, first responders, and the elderly people.

A lot of people don't prioritize estate planning needs. Making a will or putting the wealth into proper planning always remains the less important work for most of us. However, a lot of people have now started realizing the importance of estate planning during the COVID era. Since you can get affected by the COVID at any point in time, you should do some important work before going to the hospital.

In this post, you will get an idea of the legal work and the medical precautions you have to take during the Covid-19 era.

Legal work to do before you get sick and visit the hospital

You have to do comprehensive legal work before visiting the hospital. Here is what you have to do.

  • Arrange a health care proxy or a power of attorney for health care
  • You should arrange a health care proxy or a power of attorney. During this pandemic, arranging a health care proxy becomes necessary. This is important planning that allows people to give another person the power to decide what medical treatment is required. If you are seriously ill, the person you appoint can instruct the necessary steps on your behalf. You can also discuss your health care wishes with your health care proxy. This initiative can help you to avoid interruption in your treatment.

  • You must have a living will ready
  • Will and the health care proxy is very important. Just like having a health care proxy, you can make a list of the medical treatments you want or don’t want to get as part of your health care. A living will also indicate your wishes regarding critical treatment like artificial feeding tubes or ventilators, preferred health care facilities, and end-of-life care.

  • Arrange a financial power of attorney
  • If you become incapacitated due to the illness, the financial power of attorney in place can help you to preserve your assets, pay your financial obligations, and other financial liabilities. Make sure you appoint someone reliable and trustworthy.

  • Make a will
  • Death is not at all an interesting topic to talk about with your family members. But, don’t you want to secure your family’s future in your absence? I’m sure you want to do that. So, contact your lawyer now and make a will right away. Mention every financial detail along with mentioning the name of the beneficiaries and the allotted amount and/or property.

What else do you have to do to protect your legal rights?

There are a few other things you need to do to safeguard your rights as a consumer. Here are a few of them.

1. You have to be educated and informative

  • Gather information when you are not ill
  • If you want to get the best care from a hospital, then you should gather all the information beforehand regarding the healthcare available during this pandemic.

    You should gather information about the hospital that is providing COVID treatments. If you seek your regular treatment, you should visit hospitals that are dealing with non'Covid patients. Usually, all the information is available online. If you want to know about COVID related information, you can access government websites like NYS Health Profiles and Hospital Safety Grade for the track safety statistics and hospital ratings by area.

  • Know your legal rights applicable for hospital discharge
  • Patients have the right to know about the discharge schedule. They can ask about the discharge information from the medical providers and hospital staff. The patients are entitled to get an adequate post-discharge treatment plan when they leave the hospital. The patients can raise a question over the rush decision on their discharge from the hospital. Patients should be given prior written notice of the discharge date. However,

    hospital discharge law varies from state to state. So, it is important to know before getting admitted into a hospital.

  • Know the HIPAA to protect your medical report
  • According to The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”), patients have rights for the medical report privacy. HIPAA prohibits public dissemination of patient's medical records without their permission. Moreover, patients should be given access to their medical records.

  • You have the right to ask for the medical bill
  • You should get an itemized medical bill. Usually, hospitals discuss the patient's medical bills with the HMOs and the insurance companies to decide the ultimate bill. Thus, it is important to know about your medical insurance properly and the coverage you are given.

    Also, try to contact the medical insurance company for all the details like authorization for treatment and fraudulent care.

2. You have to be responsible

  • Keep all the legal papers handy
  • If you have to visit the hospital for treatment, your family members may need critical paperwork and other important documents. Thus, it is advisable to keep legal papers in a safe place so that you can tell them about the document to your loved ones.

    Make sure you have all the documents that your family need when you are incapacitated. This means not only your estate planning documents but also other all-important documents, like:

    1. The legal paper of your house.

    2. Documents of your business if any.

    3. A list of your estate and other assets like 401(k)s account, pension accounts, brokerage account, and savings accounts.

    4. Details of designated beneficiaries.

    5. A list of passwords of your email, financial, business, and social media accounts.

  • Keep the medical record handy
  • Try to keep all the medical records, prescriptions, prior and current ailments, and allergy records available at your home. Also, keep your health insurance card safely so that you can use it when required.

  • Seek legal advice from an attorney
  • Planning for medical emergencies and financial security doesn’t have to be complicated. It will not be as daunting as people think. Thus, you should go ahead and complete this task. However, every state has different laws. For common people, it is difficult to know all the laws. So, it is recommended to seek legal advice and help from a good attorney for estate planning and medical planning.

You have to know what to do during an emergency

  • You should call the family physician first
  • In case there is an emergency, you should inform your regular doctor for the suggestion. You can get valuable suggestions from your family physician. Also informing a regular doctor about your hospital visit can help you in many ways. Your regular doctor can stay in touch with you and the hospital. You can discuss the treatment plan with your doctor if necessary. Your regular doctor can give you an idea about your medical history and specific needs.

  • Call the hospital before visiting
  • You should call the hospital before check-in. If you suspect that you have COVID 19, then it is a must.

  • Avoid online research
  • A lot of people do an online search to do self-diagnosis. But you should understand that medical conditions vary from person to person. You can get a barely brief idea about a medical condition through online research. So, it is advisable to seek proper medical help when you are sick.

Lastly, during this global pandemic, there is no guarantee that you can stay healthy to stand strong beside your family members. Since the COVID 19 vaccine is still not a reality, you can get affected by the COVID 19 virus at any point in time. Your family can face a medical emergency at any time. So, thinking about estate planning and medical planning is always a wise decision to secure your and your dependant's lives. If you are prepared and educated beforehand, then you can also stay strong and confident during the crisis time.

Last Updated on: Fri, 16 Oct 2020