Forms. So many forms.
Anyone who deals with the healthcare industry on a regular basis knows that the forms are endless. You fill out the forms for the doctor’s office, for the hospital, and (shudder) the health insurance companies.
Getting the forms filled out correctly is important. Because having the wrong form, or having it filled out incorrectly, can cost you hours of anguish as you trudge through the never-ending maze of red tape.
If you are a caregiver, then you know that having all the right forms, signed by the right people, notarized, in triplicate, and written in gold ink is imperative.
Ok, maybe not the gold ink, but you get my point.
You must have these forms so that you can fulfill your job as a caregiver. And just when you think you have all the right forms……this happens:
Daughter: “I’d like to email you my POA so that I can talk to my mom’s agent about her annuities.”
Agent: “Oh, we have our own form that your mother has to fill out. Can you bring her to our office to complete the form?”
Daughter: “I’m sorry. You want me to bring my home-bound 96-year-old mother to your office an hour away from her home to complete a form when I have a notarized state POA?”
Agent: “Yes. We cannot talk to you about her accounts without that form.”
Daughter: “Can we have her sign it and fax it to you?”
Agent: “No, it has to be notarized.”
(Daughter’s head explodes from frustration, stress, and anxiety)
That form. They must have THAT form, a form that the family did not even know existed until now.
Recently, this same family took their mom to the hospital for a pneumonia test, when she was having trouble breathing. And even though she had been in this same hospital multiple times, and the woman checking her in knew who she was, she endured the twenty-minute check-in procedure, completing multiple forms (AGAIN), before being admitted and beginning treatment.
Nothing irritates more than the obligatory form.
Medicare, Medicaid, insurance, wills, POA, MPOA, medical reimbursement, DNRs, Living Wills, hospital admittance, and hospital discharge…and on, and on.
Compounding the problem for this family, and thousands like them, is the fact that the Daughter who is the registered power of attorney lives several states away. So she can only come to see her mom on weekends, when everything is closed. She often tries to stay through Monday, so she can try to get tasks accomplished before jumping on a plane and heading back to her own life.
So when someone asks for ONE MORE FORM…it is enough to make her scream.
How can you avoid the “One more form” situation? Do as much in advance as possible. Any forms that you know you can get completed, do it. TODAY. It is much easier to be proactive rather than reactive.
If you know you are going to need to deal with the bank, call ahead and find out what forms they need. Life insurance company? Ditto.
It would be so nice if there was one set of forms you fill out and that was it. DONE. But that is not the case. Documentation requirements vary state-by-state and industry-by-industry.
Get ahead of the game by completing everything you can and making triplicate copies. And then be prepared for ONE MORE FORM.