A health care proxy authorizes someone to make medical decisions for you in the event you are unable to do so yourself. This document can be invaluable for avoiding family conflicts and possible court intervention if you should become unable to make your own health care decisions. Also, although Massachusetts does not recognize living wills, many attorneys incorporate end of life language into their health care proxies in order to give the health care agent and the hospital a written record of your expressed desires.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) of 1996 protects, among other things, the security and privacy of health data. A HIPAA authorization allows your designated recipients to have access to your medical and billing records.