How Do I Know if I Need a Life Care Plan?

We have Life Care Planning down to a science...

First, let’s define what a Life Care Plan is… or as we like to call it… A Care Plan for Life

The short answer

A Care Plan for Life is a comprehensive report. It is a communication tool for an individual who has experienced a serious permanent or catastrophic injury or illness that requires medical care now and for the remainder of their life. Typically, the subject of a life care plan lives with chronic pain and/or a disabling condition (physically, emotionally, psychologically, etc.) that would benefit from medical care, devices, and procedures, now and into the future. The life care plan outlines all of these along with estimated costs. It is your medical roadmap for the future to help you with documentation, rehabilitation, restoration and recovery when possible. 

A life care plan is an expert medical report which answers 3 vital questions:

  1. What does the individual have (meaning, what are their diagnoses)?

  2. What does the individual need (meaning medical care, diagnostic tests, procedures, etc. for their condition(s))? 

  3. What will it cost (adjusted for their location/region)? 

The long answer

"The life care plan is a dynamic document based upon published standards of practice, comprehensive assessment, data analysis, and research, which provides an organized, concise plan for current and future needs with associated costs for individuals who have experienced catastrophic injury or have chronic health care needs.” International Academy of Life Care Planners, 2003. 

In other words, life care planning is a consistent process for evaluating the patient and their disability. The data then serves to establish all of the needs dictated by the onset of that disability. 

It is important to note: Consistency refers to the application of the process of evaluation and does not suggest that similar disabilities will receive similar recommendations. Careful consideration is given to the goals, needs, and interests of the patient, the needs of their family, and the realities of the geographic region in which the patient resides. 

The process is based on published standards, tenets, methodologies and principles. It takes into consideration medical records, the patient and family perspective, the treatment team, clinical practice guidelines, relevant research literature, and carefully established medical, case management, and rehabilitation foundations. 

So… Back to the Question: How Do I Know if I Need a Life Care Plan?

The answer(s):

A life care plan is a case management tool at its core. It is a “single source of truth”. It is used by patients, families, rehabilitation professionals, plaintiff and defense lawyers, judges, insurance adjusters, and insurance companies when serious and catastrophic injuries indicate long-term medical care is likely needed.

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