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The Importance of Updated Records for A Life Care Planner and Vocational Expert

By: Stokes & Associates
Tel: 504-454-5009
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Typically, the first step after being engaged as life care planning or vocational experts is to review the available records. Medical records guide the direction of the life care plan and frame potential restrictions that influence vocational assessment. Step two in the process is the evaluation with the plaintiff to determine which treating or consulting providers with whom to confer. Occasionally, evaluees have difficulty recalling important treatment history, and documentary evidence becomes even more essential.

Occasionally, the medical documentation will contain information about pre-existing treatment, which assists the expert in determining if a recommendation is appropriate for a life care plan or if future treatment needs would be related in whole or part to a pre-existing condition. 

Having the most recent medical reports before a physician conference is essential to understand the recommendations better and know if the physician and life care plan expert should discuss specific topics.  

It is also helpful to have updated medical documentation and treatment records even after a consultation has taken place. The physician may alter their treatment plan during treatment, which could affect the life care plan recommendations. Therefore, receiving updated medical documentation and treatment records before court appearances or depositions is essential, as the physician’s new medical opinions may justify an updated assessment and report. Providing updated records promptly should ensure the life care planner has time to review the updated information and possibly re-consult with the physician, if necessary. Updated medical documentation is also essential when the life care planner and vocational expert are not permitted or able to evaluate the plaintiff.

Equally crucial to medical documentation are deposition transcripts of treating and consulting physicians. These depositions can contain many treatment recommendations or opinions that confirm or deny information required to complete a life care plan or aid in writing vocational opinions.

In conclusion, referral sources can assist the life care planner and vocational expert by ensuring they receive updated medical documentation, reports, and deposition transcripts of physicians as soon as possible to supply the most accurate, up-to-date information.

Stokes & Associates specializes in Life Care Planning and Vocational Rehabilitation. Our team has a combined experience of over 20,000 case assignment engagements. As a result, they can quickly map out a plan to provide the right level of service for the task. Additionally, their detailed Request for Service interview is conducted before work begins to ensure roles and expectations are determined from the onset of their involvement.

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