October 09, 2019

Frameworks for Evaluating Life Care Plans

By Penelope Caragonne, Ph.D., CLCP, Caragonne and Associates, Inc., Laredo, TX; Keith Sofka, ATP (Ret.), Caragonne and Associates, Inc., Laredo, TX; Wendie Howland, MN RN-BC CRRN CCM CNLCP LNCC, Howland Health Consulting, Inc., Pocasset, MA


A life care plan, a growing factor in litigation, is an overall service or care plan that provides for goods and services to achieve best outcomes over the life expectancy of a person with a disability resulting from catastrophic injury.

A person for whom life care planning is appropriate has a severe or persistent physical, sensory, or cognitive limitation which limits functional capacities relative to primary aspects of daily living, such as employment, education, personal relations, living arrangements, and recreation, and requires the specialized resources of multiple agencies to maintain community-based or institutional residence. Damages are not limited to physician, hospital, or surgery costs, but also medications, therapies, assistive technology, architectural modifications, supplies and equipment repair and replacement, transportation, supportive care across the continuum of aging, and anything else necessary to promote the health, safety, and well-being for the injured person. The elements of quality and dependability are as important as necessity.1

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