Process and Methodology Behind a Comprehensive Life Care Plan

A life care plan provides a detailed outline of the various types of care required for an individual who has a chronic illness or who has a disability as a result of a catastrophic injury. Each plan serves as a tool to support an individual in living as optimally and independently as possibly throughout their life and is a dynamic document that regularly considers available published standards of practice, medical records, evaluation, provider input and industry research. There are many areas of consideration incorporated into each plan, such as medical needs, transportation, and even vocational services. These considerations can vary from individual to individual, but there is a methodology established by the Life Care Planning section of the International Academy of Life Care Planners (IALCP) that life care planners should utilize when making their determinations for clients. Here is an overview of the key phases life care planners  of composing a life care plan.

  1. Review
    The life care planning includes a thorough review of an individual’s available hospital, medical, therapy, school, employment, psychological and other records and documents. This varies by individual and may include inpatient rehabilitation records, diagnostic reports, home health records, independent medical exams, neuropsychological reports, depositions, as well as other life care planner’s reports – among other documents.
  2. Evaluate
    The life care planner will complete a comprehensive evaluation of the individual, which may include interviewing the family, other related stakeholders and assessing the living situation as appropriate.
  3. Consult
    Following the evaluation, life care planners may consult with medical professionals such as treating doctors, therapists, mental health experts, caregivers – among others – this consultation may happen in person, through written correspondence, the phone, or other secure portals.
  4. Research
    Once documents are reviewed, the individual is evaluated, and other professionals are consulted – life care planners work to support their plan with further research for each client. This process can include but is not limited to: identifying pertinent journal articles, researching medical procedures and surgeries applicable to the individual, reviewing best practices, and exploring available community resources, among others elements.
  5. Developing the Life Care Plan
    The research is paired with the information from earlier steps of the life care planning process to then draft the initial version of the client’s life care plan. This life care plan considers all of the individual clients medical, psychological and rehabilitative needs, of the individual clients medical, psychological and rehabilitative needs
  6. Cost
    Research is then required to identify and record the usual, customary, and reasonable costs (UCR) for each item and service itemized in the life care plan. These costs must be specific to the client’s geographic area.
  7. Finalize
    At CRC, our life care plans are peer reviewed by other life care planners with a variety of rich domain expertise and familiarity with a wide range of cases.

The referral source may forward the completed life care plan to an economist who will compute the present value of future medical care costs set forth in the plan. Present Value – the value in the present of a sum of money, in contrast to some future value it will have when it has been invested at compound interest.

Developing a life care plan that fully considers the extent of injury or illness on an individual’s quality of life, is no small feat. Each plan takes a thoughtful look at the medical, psychological, psychosocial needs, and much more, to create a plan that supports each individual’s maximum quality of life. A life care planner is a conduit between the stakeholders, experts, and leading research, and uses their extensive knowledge across industries and case types as they develop each unique plan.

If you have any questions about your life care planning needs, schedule a complimentary consultation with our industry experts, today.