Throughout my career, I have reviewed many life care plans, medical cost projections, and future needs assessments. The conclusion that I have come to is that the majority of them do not have up-to-date future medical recommendations which lowers the validity of the overall report.  

According to Life Care Planning methodology, medical records that are over 6 months are considered archaic and therefore not a true representation as to how the client is presenting at present day.  When those older medical records are utilized in a report, not only does this equate to inaccurate future medical costs but also decreases the credibility of the life care planner who wrote the report.

It is imperative that the report contain the most updated information that is available.  This is why attorneys need to get the life care planner involved in the case well before disclosures are due.  

A properly trained life care planner can help you guide your case along to make sure you understand where the client is in their treatment and what treating physicians/rehabilitation professionals are working with the client in order for those providers to give updated and accurate information that is essential for a valid report.  

Here is an example.  Many times, clients slip through the cracks and don’t necessarily communicate with attorneys what treatment they are receiving and who is providing it. Maybe the attorney thought that they had completed a series of facet joint injections but in all reality, the client never went to get them in the first place. 

 Let’s say that your client is scheduled for their first cervical medial branch block in two weeks and disclosures are due in one month.  There is no way the treating physician administering the blocks will be able to opine on future injections including facet injections and/or radiofrequency ablation procedures due to inadequate time to see how the client will respond to the first round of injections.  This is where a skilled life care planner can help communicate these issues with the attorney.

By getting the life care planner involved early on, they can help make sure the records are up to date and inform the attorney where the client is in treatment. After all, the validity of their life care plan is based on the treating practitioners’ future care recommendations and if the life care planner is not on the ball in regards to getting those recommendations, the report is not valid. 

Set your case up for success and reach out to a skilled, qualified, doctor life care planner that can ensure that the proper updated recommendations are utilized in order to create a valid report that both plaintiff and defense attorneys can use as a method to a swift and fair settlement.

Dr. Brad Poppie has over 20 years of personal injury experience providing care as a treating doctor, coordinating rehabilitative case management, and expert trial testimony services.  If you have a client that you would like to discuss their need for an expert report, please contact me directly at 720-982-2000 or email me at: brad@injuryreportingconsultants.com