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Life Care Planning Made Simple

February 26, 2016

What is a Life Care Plan?

Stated simply, a Life Care Plan is a document that will set forth an individual’s future medical and non-medical care needs arising from the event in question. The following must be considered when doing a Life Care Plan:

A life care planner should be certified. There are two certifications in Life Care Planning that presently exist. The Certified Life Care Planner (CLCP) is awarded by the International Commission on Healthcare Certification (ICHCC). VDI has a number of staff members who hold this credential. The Certified Nurse Life Care Planner (CNLCP) credential is awarded by the Certified Nurse Life Care Planner Certification Board.

Life Care Planning has historically been recognized as a multi-disciplinary area of practice. Certified Life Care Planners can be rehabilitation experts, registered nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists, psychologists, and even medical doctors. Each specific area of practice can be important in developing a Life Care Plan.

It is critical for any life care planner to obtain a foundation for the recommended items in the Life Care Plan. Just because one has a credential in life care planning does not mean that they are qualified to make case-specific recommendations that fall outside of their professional scope of practice. For instance, a registered nurse cannot recommend a specific course of medical treatment; only a licensed physician can do that. A rehabilitation counselor cannot recommend a specific course of physical therapy that someone may require for the treatment of their injuries. Only a licensed physical therapist or physician can do that. A rehabilitation counselor, however, can provide a foundation for mental health treatment if following their assessment of the plaintiff, they believe this is required.

Understanding the individual scope of practice and then interfacing with other licensed, allied healthcare professionals will guarantee the credibility of the Life Care Plan as well as its admissibility in court.

There are recognized standards of practice that must be applied to every case where a Life Care Plan is developed. VDI’s life care planning experts know this.

Life Care Plans should be done in any case where future medical and non-medical care is being recommended. It is a common belief that a Life Care Plan should only be done in the case involving “catastrophic” injury; this is not true. Interface with a medical expert can identify the need for future medical and non-medical care arising from claimed injuries. This may take the form of a single surgical procedure, other treatment interventions such as injections, pain management modalities, therapies and/or medications. There can be considerable costs associated with any and all of these items.

VDI Life Care Planners know how to set forth these future care needs, quantify the value of them and interface with necessary medical and non-medical experts to support them.

Contact Vocational Diagnostics if you are in need of a Life Care Plan.

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