Advance care planning is the process of thinking about, communicating and documenting your future health care wishes in case of illness, accident or sudden medical event.
Dean Health Plan wants to ensure that your health care wishes are known and respected. Social workers are available to help any member over age 18 begin or continue the process of advance care planning.
Enrollment is voluntary. Sign up and one of our team members will contact you.
As part of good medical care for you and your family, it’s important for all patients to have advance directive documents filed with your provider.
An advance directive is a legal document that states how you want your health care decisions to be made if you become incapacitated or cannot express your wishes. An advance directive helps guide your doctor and your loved ones about the care you wish to receive.
Both the Power of Attorney for Health Care and the Declaration to Physicians (Living Will), when properly completed and signed, are essential parts of good planning and medical care. They not only help physicians, family and friends honor your wishes, but also relieve the pressure of decision-making at a potentially stressful time. Below you will find how to prepare and submit these important documents.
The overall goal of this preparatory work is that your health wishes will be respected. An equally important aspect of this preparation is to have the discussion about your wishes with family, friends and your doctor.
This is a type of advance directive that lists specific medical preferences. It is sometimes used as an addendum to a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care. It's also called a “directive to physicians,” “health care declaration” or “medical directive.”
Note: This form can be used when an agent is difficult to assign. In such case, one can work with their physician to discuss and complete this form.
Submit your completed forms to a physician’s office or,
SSM Health Central Storage Warehouse
PO Box 259840
Madison, WI 53725
The most important document is the Power of Attorney for Health Care form, which allows you to appoint someone to make treatment decisions on your behalf if you're unable to so.
The person you appoint should be:
at least 18 years of age
aware of your values and wishes
willing to make decisions that are consistent with your wishes
able to communicate your wishes to the health care team.
Your agent may be a spouse, trusted relative or friend. This document can also include information that specifies your treatment preferences.
If you aren't able to locate or download forms, you can request up to two forms free of charge by sending a stamped, self-addressed business-sized envelope to the Wisconsin Department of Health & Human Services:
Power of Attorney
Division of Public Health
PO Box 2659
Madison, WI 53701-2659
Many clinic sites have forms available. Do not hesitate at your next visit to ask your doctor for advance directive forms.
A specialist social worker from Dean Health Plan explains the key information about Advance Care Planning and why it is so important for you and your loved ones.