Life Care Planning

What is life care planning?

A life care plan is a dynamic document with comprehensive patient assessment, data analysis, and research which provides a concise plan for current and future needs of the injured patient with associated costs, for individuals who have experienced a catastrophic injury that will impact their chronic healthcare needs.

A life care plan serves as a roadmap for the provision of future daily medical and rehabilitation care for individuals with significant medical issues and associated impairments.

A physician specializing in the field of physical medicine rehabilitation are uniquely trained and qualified to aid in the development and formation of forward-looking lifecare plans.

Physical Medicine Rehabilitation’s as a  medical specialty focuses on the patients’ long-term functional outcomes following catastrophic injuries or illnesses.  Rehabilitation physicians understanding of the physiology of individuals with medical conditions such as spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries that can cause severe impairments in many potential secondary medical conditions arising from the primary injury.

A physiatrist can also be projected future care needs to be based on the impact of the aging process and likely secondary medical complications that will impact the injured patient and determine future medical costs based on the patient’s impairments.

Qualifications of an expert witness in preparing a life care plan

1 ) Completion of residency from a recognized leading institution

2) Board certification in physical medicine and rehabilitation

3) Academic appointments/Hospital privileges

4) Experienced in court testimony

5) Comfortable with the litigation process

6) Reputation for an objective thorough assessment  and ethical practice

Disabilities that may require Life Care Planning

1) Amputations,

2) Acquired brain injuries

3) Burn patient’s

4) HIV/AIDS patients

5 Depressive disorders/Obsessive-compulsive disorders and Schizophrenia

6) Organ transplants

7) Visually impaired)

The results:

A life care plan performed by a qualified evaluator, that is highly qualified in physical medicine rehabilitation, should be able to effectively plan for the patient’s needs with regard to care products, supplies, and equipment, as well as determine future medical costs, based on the patient’s life expectancy following their impairment.  Considerations should also be allowed for mental health consequences of the impairment on the patient, family members, in an effort to provide improved functional assessment and improve the dignity and quality of life of the patient life.

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