Life care planning is a highly lucrative endeavor which can supplement or replace your clinical income. Life care planning can be performed by physicians, nurses, psychologists and other healthcare professionals. More and more, however, life care planning is being performed by physicians who are often preferred by attorneys. Serving as a physician life care planner typically consists of assisting plaintiff or defense lawyers by documenting the needs of an injured person and opining on the costs required to meet these needs over the course of the injured litigant’s lifetime. Physician life care planning assignments are labor intensive and often result in total fees in the five figure range billed at $300-$600 or more per hour. Best of all, physician life care planning does not require an active clinical practice, does not involve testifying against other physicians on the issue of standard of care, and most work can be done from a home office. Attendees should be able to start serving as a life care planner after completion of this course. 

Included:

  • Over 16 hours of streaming on demand instruction (one-year license);
  • A detailed 386 page written manual, both as a PDF and (for USA only) as a hardbound printed copy;
  • The ability to ask SEAK questions and have them answered in a private 15-20 minute 1-1 phone conference;
  • Up to 16.5 CME credits; and
  • 30 Day Money Back Guarantee.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES:

• Explain the methodology to employ and develop an accurate, defensible life care plan

• Describe how to assemble and review the medical and other records you will need to review

• List best practices for conducting the life care plan interview and examination

• Determine the functional ability and impairments of the injured person

• Determine future medical needs of the injured person

• Describe best practices for assessing and researching the cost of the examinee’s needs

• Draft a powerful, persuasive, and defensible life care plan

• Defend your life care plan at deposition and trial

• Avoid common pitfalls

• Describe numerous techniques to market your life care planning practice to attorneys and others

• Acquire the skills to start serving as a physician life care planner

COURSE CONTENT

Introduction to Life Care Planning and Overview of The Life Care Planning Process

Faculty will introduce themselves and explain the need for life care plans and how they are used by plaintiff and defense attorneys. An overview of the life care planning process previewing the typical tasks of a life care planner will be provided.

Getting Started – Establishing the Assignment and Obtaining and Reviewing Records

A credible life care plan needs to be built on a solid foundation. Attendees will learn the types of medical, vocational, rehabilitation, psychological, and collateral information they need to assemble to develop an accurate and defensible life care plan. The faculty will present best practices for accumulating, reviewing, analyzing and digesting these records. 

Interview and Examination

A proper interview and examination is required to form a solid foundation for your life care plan. Faculty will demonstrate with examples of best practices for determining and documenting the functional abilities and limitations of the client including ability to dress, bath, mobility, feeding, communicate, partake in recreation, work and other activities of daily living. Traps for the unwary will be emphasized. 

Future Medical Requirements

Faculty will provide guidance on how to establish the need for and frequency of future medical and mental health services, diagnostic testing, medication, inpatient care, and surgical procedures. Included will be a discussion of what you can recommend yourself when you need to communicate with other providers.

Assistive Technology/Adaptive Devices

Faculty will provide guidance on how to identify the need and research/cost out the need for assistive technology and adaptive devices such as lifts, specialty beds, modified vehicles, braces, orthotics, prosthetics, wheelchairs, etc. Included will be a discussion of how to determine a reliable expected replacement time and other issues particular to assistive technology and adaptive devices. 

Personal Assistance/Care Needs

Faculty will provide guidance on how to identify the need for and cost out personal assistance, assisted living, and nursing care, both home and facility based. Common issues that arise will be discussed. 

Architectural Renovations

Faculty will provide guidance on how to identify the need for and cost out/research architectural renovations such as ramps and widening of doorways. Common issues that arise in this area will be discussed. 

Training in Activities of Daily Living

The injured person may require training in activities of daily living. Faculty will provide guidance on how to identify and cost out these training needs. 

Costing Medical Care, Treatment, Medications, and Diagnosticss

Many injured parties may require ongoing: physician care, diagnostic tests, medications, rehabilitation services, and equipment and supplies. The faculty will discuss the life care planner’s methodology used to determine these cost projections. 

Life Expectancy

Life expectancy will directly impact future costs. Faculty will discuss and explain the options that life care planners have when making assumptions on life expectancy (relying on a table, relying on a customized life expectancy from another expert, and determining life expectancy yourself) and will reveal the important potential pitfalls in this area. 

Drafting an Excellent Written Life Care Plan

Your written life care plan is one of your main deliverables (the other being potential testimony). The faculty will provide advice for writing a defensible and impressive life care plan that will distinguish you from your competition. Emphasis will be placed on stating: your qualifications, avoiding successful Daubert challenges, clear, understandable language, formatting and layout, the use of charts, diagrams and photographs, the proper use of templates, transparency, accuracy, missing information and data, standard language, disclaimers and carefully defining and delineating the role of the life care planner. 

Special Topics

Faculty will engage in a frank, free-flowing discussion of important topics including life expectancy, medical cost projections, catastrophic injuries, and the role of the life care planner.

Fee Setting, Billing, & Practice Management

Faculty will provide guidance on how to set and collect your fee and properly manage the relationship with retaining counsel. Advice will also be provided in how to run an efficient practice, keep yourself out of trouble and leverage yourself.  

Business Development and Finding Your Niche

Faculty will provide advice on how to establish a niche for yourself that makes best use of your medical training, specialty, and experience. Faculty will then provide suggestions for how to market to both plaintiff and defense attorneys and develop your life care planning practice. Making yourself more attractive to potential clients and the benefits of additional training and certification as a life care planner will also be discussed. 

Defending Your Life Care Plan at Deposition

Life care planners may be called upon to testify at deposition. In this segment the faculty will discuss and demonstrate with video specific lines of inquiry that the life care planner may encounter at deposition. Suggestions to deal with each of these lines of inquiry will be provided. 

Defending Your Life Care Plan at Trial

Life care planners may be called upon to testify at trial. In this segment the faculty will discuss special techniques for life care planners to excel during direct and cross examination. Anticipated lines of challenge that can be expected during cross examination will be explained and suggestions to deal with each of these lines of challenge will be provided. 

The Biggest Mistakes Physician Life Care Planners Make: And How to Avoid Them

Faculty will review these biggest mistakes with emphasis on avoiding the common mistakes made by others in the past. Examples will be provided. 

Your Action Plan

To achieve maximum results from this two-day course physician attendees, with the assistance of faculty, will discuss the takeaways from the training and develop their realistic action plan for implementation and success. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Serving as a Physician Life Care Planner:

Q. How much money can I make performing life care plans?

A. Physician life care planners can make $5,000-$15,000 per plan. Many physician life care planners earn over $100,000 per year doing these plans.

Q. What specialties can do this work?

A. Life care planning has typically been performed by nurses and even non-medical professionals such as vocational experts. As such, all physician specialties can do this work. Some specialties will however be more attractive to a certain client depending on the medical issues at hand. For example, a neurologist for a brain injury, a GI physician for a colostomy, a psychiatrist for emotional trauma, a rehab physician for paralysis, etc.

Q. Do I need an active medical practice and board certification?

A. No. One of the advantages of life care planning is that physicians who are retired or not in active clinical practice can still perform life care plans.

Q. Why is the work so lucrative?

A. Typically, life care plans are requested on cases with serious injuries. Life care planners most often charge by the hour. Preparing a well-supported and well-documented and defensible life care plan is often very time consuming.

Q. Why wouldn’t a lawyer just hire a nurse or vocational expert to do this work at a lower hourly rate?

A. The cases where life care planners are involved are often very serious or catastrophic. Given this fact, many lawyers are willing to pay a premium for the added credibility of a physician life care planner.

Q. What are the startup and overhead costs?

A. These are generally small to negligible.

Q. What are the liability risks?

A. Generally far less than practicing clinical medicine.

Q. Will I need to testify?

A. Potentially, yes, as life care planning is a subset of expert witness work. You will, however, be opining as a life care planner on necessity of future needs/care and their costs. Unlike a medical malpractice case, you will typically not be commenting on quality of care provided by another physician.

Q. What are the keys to success and building a lucrative physician life care planning practice?

A. Learning how to do the work at a very high level, being responsive and easy to deal with and then gaining repeat and word of mouth business.

Steven Babitsky, Esq.


Steven Babitsky, Esq., is the President and founder of SEAK, Inc., the Expert Witness Training Company. He was a personal injury trial attorney for twenty years and is the former managing partner of the firm Kistin, Babitsky, Latimer & Beitman. Mr. Babitsky has extensive experience training life care planners and preparing them to testify. Mr. Babitsky is the co-author of the texts How to Be a Successful Expert Witness: SEAK’s A-Z Guide to Expert WitnessingHow to Write An Expert Witness Report and How to Be an Effective Expert Witness at Deposition and Trial: The SEAK Guide to Testifying as an Expert Witness. Attorney Babitsky is the co developer and trainer for the “How to Be an Effective Expert Witness” seminar and has been the seminar leader since 1990 for the Annual National Expert Witness Conference. Mr. Babitsky trains hundreds of experts every year.

Richard S. Kaplan, MD


Richard S. Kaplan, MD practices as a Board-Certified Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation physician and life care planner in Monroeville, Pennsylvania. He received his BS Engineering Science, University of Miami College of Engineering, MD, University of Miami Miller College of Medicine, PM&R Residency, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN. Dr. Kaplan is a certified Life Care Planner with special expertise in catastrophic injuries and life expectancy calculations. He has 25 years of experience in independent medical exams and other medical-legal issues. Dr. Kaplan also has special expertise in biomechanics analysis of automobile injuries.

Ronald E. Snyder, MD 


Ronald E. Snyder, MD began his medical journey at the Indiana University School of Medicine where he graduated in 1972. His love for rehabilitation was confirmed during his residential programs which included; St. Francis Hospital, Pittsburgh, PA., in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and Yale University School of Medicine; Chief Resident in Pediatrics. Dr. Snyder has served as Medical Director of several programs which focused on brain injury including: St. Joseph Center for Rehabilitation and Ocean State Rehabilitation (Rhode Island), and New England Goodwill Industries Brain Injury Programs as well as River Ridge Brain Injury Center (Maine). Chronic pain states and treatments as well as appropriate documentation for medical — legal situations have resulted in Dr. Snyder providing training programs jointly through-out the United States with the DEA and medical and pharmacy boards. He is currently the medical director for MD Diagnostic Specialists of Maitland Florida and Physiatry Based Life Care Planning Associates. He has been providing adult and pediatric Life Care Planning for 15 years. Cases have ranged from pediatric birth trauma, traumatic brain injury, minimum conscious, 4 limb amputations due to burns, to childhood rape and nursery school abuse.

Leslie Watson, MA, CRC, CMDE



Leslie Watson is a leader in the field of research and medical cost research for Life Care Planning. Beginning her career under the direction of Paul M. Deutsch, she then went on to own several successful companies within the field of Rehabilitation. Leslie is a multi-faceted rehabilitation specialist, with work experience inclusive of Life Care Planning, Worker’s Compensation Case Management, Neuropsychological Testing, as well as in literature and research development for Rehabilitation Professionals under the approval of the National Certification Boards. She has worked in the field of Life Care Planning Research, publishing multiple articles and conducting presentations and training to those seeking to learn about the world of medical cost research as it relates to Life Care Planning.

Sample Course Clips:

Examples of Well-Drafted Life Care Plans

 

Advice on How to Set your Fee

 

How to Determine Cost Projections

 

Special Situation Example: Medical Cost Projection

 

Course Curriculum

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Here’s what past attendees had to say:

“Thanks for a great course in Clearwater! Aside from great content you always make people feel empowered - which is a generous gift.”

“An excellent course, thank you for sharing your expertise. I am looking forward to expanding my scope of practice to include life care planning.”

“An excellent conference!”

“It is really terrific that you do so much to help. Thanks again.”

“Absolutely fabulous!! Thank you so very much.”

“Excellent overall, very comprehensive.”

“Great intro to new and developing field”

“Information was presented well and the instructors were excellent.”

“High quality”

“Interesting and thought provoking.”

“Loved it – well put together.”

“Outstanding.”

“Well-executed, faculty well-trained and knowledgeable.”

“[Faculty] combined obvious expertise and experience (gravitas) with an accessible and almost folksy approach and delivery that I thought was very effective.”

Continuing Medical Education Information:

SEAK, Inc. is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. SEAK, Inc. designates this enduring material activity for a maximum of 16.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. This enduring material activity was reviewed on September 16, 2020 and terminates on September 16, 2023.

Enroll now in "How to Start, Build, and Run a Successful Physician Life Care Planning Practice."

$1,395

One-Year Streaming License + 386 Page Written Manual + Ability to ask SEAK questions and have questions answered in private phone call + Up to 16.5 CME Credits

30 Day Money Back Guarantee

Contact SEAK, Inc.: 508-457-1111 [email protected] PO Box 729 Falmouth, MA 02541 www.seak.com