Advance Directives

Advance directives are legal documents that allow you to convey your decisions about end-of-life care ahead of time. They provide a way for you to communicate your wishes to family, friends and health care professionals, and to avoid confusion later on when you are not able to speak for yourself. In the event these documents are needed, preparing advance directive before you need them can reduce turmoil for your family members. Because you have thought ahead, your designee will know your wishes and be able to make decisions in accordance with your wishes.
 

There are two types of advance directives:

  • Medical Power of Attorney:  The state of Texas Medical Power of Attorney form allows you to appoint someone else to make your medical decisions when your doctor determines that you are not able to understand and appreciate the nature and consequences of a treatment decision. It can be used when you are permanently – or temporarily incapacitated. 
  • Living Will: The state of Texas Directive to Physicians and Family or Surrogates, is the living will form for use by residents of Texas. This form allows you to give directive instructions for medical decisions when your doctor certifies that you have a terminal or irreversible condition, and you are unable to actively make your own medical decisions. 
 
FirstCare Health Plans, in compliance with federal regulations, requires physicians to document in the outpatient medical record whether or not a member has executed an advance directive.
 
Because the need for use of advance directives often arrive with little or no warning, FirstCare encourages members to execute advance directives and provide a copy of each to their primary care physician and specialty providers.
 
A good place to find current information about advance directives, and to download a copy of your state’s current forms is by clicking here.

Privacy Questions or Concerns?

Questions or concerns about your rights to privacy under HIPAA or NOPP? Call the FirstCare Compliance Hotline at 1.866.399.8161 or write to:
 
FirstCare Health Plans
Attn: Privacy Officer
12940 N. Hwy 183
Austin, TX 78750

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