Life care planning can be performed by physicians, nurses, psychologists, vocational experts, and other qualified 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, is not limited by specialty, does not involve testifying against other physicians on the issue of standard of care, and most work can be done from a home office.
How to Start, Build, and Run a Successful Physician Life Care Planning Practice is now available to stream on-demand.
For our current schedule of on-demand and live training programs for physicians, please click here.
Frequently Asked Questions About Serving as a Physician Life Care Planner:
Q. How much are physician life care planners compensated?
A. Physician life care planners can earn $5,000-$15,000 per plan.
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. How long does an assignment take?
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 perceived 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 the quality of care provided by another physician.
Q. What are the keys to success and building a successful 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.
Here’s what past attendees have to say about SEAK’s Physician Life Care Planner Course:
“Excellent. Gave me an excellent pathway toward a new career.”
“Great learning experience.”
“a lot of useful information.”
“Very good and thorough.”
“Very informative and interesting.”
“Very well thought out and executed”
“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.”
“Interesting and thought provoking.”
“Loved it – well put together.”
“Well-executed, faculty well-trained and knowledgeable.”
“David was a great choice – he combined obvious expertise and experience (gravitas) with an accessible and almost folksy approach and delivery that I thought was very effective.”