Life Care Plans
A life care plan outlines an individual’s needs throughout the healthcare continuum, in multiple settings, and throughout life expectancy. A Life Care Plan must be flexible, with provisions for periodic re-evaluations and updates. Source: AANLCP Scope and Standards
Who Needs a Life Care Plan?
Life Care Plans are developed for individuals with injuries or chronic conditions requiring complex long-term healthcare intervention and management. The report provides an organized, concise plan that estimates the reasonable and necessary current and future healthcare needs with the associated costs.
Life Care Plan Rebuttal
A Life Care Plan Can Be Helpful For:
- Traumatic and Anoxic Brain Injuries
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Birth Injuries
- Neck and Back Pain
- Chronic Pain
- Upper and Lower Extremity Injuries
- Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
- Cerebral Palsy
- Dental Injuries
- Multiple Trauma
- And more…
A Life Care Plan is inclusive of all future medical care a patient will need such as medical evaluations, therapy, rehab, counseling, diagnostic testing, surgeries, transportation, home modifications, durable medical equipment, specialized equipment and supplies, home care and personal care support, future hospitalizations and anything else that may be needed or anticipated to be needed for the individual. Frequency of visits, replacement intervals and estimation of the reasonable and necessary costs are included in the plan.
The American Association of Nurse Life Care Planners (AANLCP) defines a life care plan as a plan that outlines an individual’s needs throughout the healthcare continuum, in multiple settings, and throughout life expectancy. A Life Care Plan must be flexible, with provisions for periodic re-evaluations and updates. Source: American Association of Nurse Life Care Planners Scope and Standards
A Life Care Planner generally follows a consistent approach to developing a life care plan, including a review of medical records, expert reports, depositions and other supporting documents, an evaluation of the plaintiff, research and communication with providers and tables of all the future needs with their associated costs.
The medical foundation for the life care plan can be obtained from the treating medical providers or medical experts or research. A physician or advanced practice nurse is often needed to confirm that future medical services are needed and related to the incident, including medical office visits, surgeries, procedures, medications, testing, and specialized equipment.
For equipment, supplies, furniture, home care and a number of other items, the foundation may be from the physicians, medical experts, nurses, therapists or the life care planner, depending on their scope of practice.
Life care planners include a group of health care professionals: nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists, physicians, psychologists, and rehabilitation professionals. These professionals obtain the necessary training, experience, and education and sit the exam to become a Certified Life Care Planner (CLCP) or Certified Nurse Life Care Planner (CNLCP).
A life care plan is for any patient who will require ongoing medical care due to an injury or chronic illness including traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, birth injury, amputations, chronic pain, cerebral palsy, complex regional pain syndrome and more.
A life care plan supplemental is an addendum to the original life care plan after new information, recommendations or changes in the patient’s condition have been received and can include changes, additions or subtractions of items to the life care plan.
In order to create a life care plan, medical records must be available for review to determine what is related to the injury and how the patient has declined or progressed, who the healthcare providers are and what therapy they are or have attended. Reports written by experts, depositions of the experts, plaintiff, and family and also the ability to interview the patient and their family to determine their current needs.