Why Your College-Age Child Needs an AHCD (Advance Health Care Directive)

Each year thousands of high school students graduate and move away from home to attend college.  These newly minted college students not only need to pack shower shoes for the dorm, but also need to prepare an Advance Health Care Directive (AHCD) before leaving the nest.

Eighteen year olds are considered adults in the eyes of the law and under the Privacy Rule of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Parents have no right to obtain their child’s medical information without consent.

In Georgia, anyone eighteen years of age or older can execute an Advance Health Care Directive. The AHCD allows someone to spell out their treatment preferences if they become incapacitated and designate an Agent to act on behalf of the person making the AHCD. Perhaps most importantly for parents of a college student, the AHCD also grants the Agent access to medical information, including information covered by HIPAA. No parent wants to receive a call at 2:00 AM telling them their child has been hurt and is in the hospital, and definitely does not want to be told by an ER nurse that they are not permitted to give you any information. If your child has an AHCD, this could save you, as a parent, a lot of time, undue burden and worry.

Call our firm today to assist you and your child to plan accordingly and give you peace of mind as your child leaves home.

Charlie McCook
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