In the legal landscape, the role of life care planners in providing expert testimony is crucial for assessing the long-term needs and costs associated with personal injury or medical malpractice cases. The impartial expert opinion of medical necessity and appropriateness of treatment decisions for different types of workers’ compensation, disability or liability cases can heavily sway the court’s decision. However, the credibility and reliability of such testimony are paramount, so organizations need to ensure their expert testimony is backed by verifiable data and reputable sources.

In fact, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals has previously ruled to set the bar higher for expert witness testimony, stating that they “should admit into evidence only expert medical testimony that is shown through a proper legal foundation to be based on (a) widely accepted theories of medical science or (b) theories that are supported by a respectable minority of experts in the field at issue.”

The reality is that accreditation is the only true stop-gap measure to ensure life care planning and valuation experts are providing trustworthy testimony.

How Accreditation Factors Into the Testimony of Life Care Planners? 

Accreditation is a measure of quality and expertise that should be an essential factor when organizations are in need of life care planners to offer their expert insights. Why? Because accreditation serves as a validation of a life care planner’s qualifications, knowledge, and adherence to industry standards. It demonstrates a commitment to excellence and a dedication to providing reliable and unbiased expert testimony. Life care planners who undergo accreditation are evaluated by recognized accrediting bodies, such as URAC (Utilization Review Accreditation Commission), which assess their skills, competencies, and adherence to ethical guidelines. This evaluation process ensures that the life care planner meets the rigorous standards set forth by the accrediting organization, ultimately enhancing their credibility and reliability as expert witnesses.

“URAC accredited organizations are put under the microscope of industry standards and best practices.”  — Anita Berkley-Dushek, PharmD, Compliance Officer, TD&P.

What is URAC and Why Should it Matter to Your Expert Medical Testimony?

URAC is a well-respected accrediting body known for its stringent evaluation processes and commitment to promoting healthcare quality and excellence. With a focus on independent medical examination (IME) accreditation, URAC sets high standards for the quality and integrity of IME services. 

Unfortunately, consumers’ confidence in the medical examination process is waning. That’s why it’s important to select accredited life care planners, which allow patients and purchasers to have peace of mind that these examiners are highly qualified and knowledgeable in their field, are free from conflict of interest, and, most importantly, are committed to fair, timely and ethical care practices. A URAC-accredited organization meets CMS Medicare Advantage regulatory standards in the following areas: Quality improvement, anti-discrimination, confidentiality, and accuracy of enrollee and reviewer records.

The Benefits of Accreditation:

  1. Enhanced Credibility: Accreditation provides a seal of approval that signifies a life care planner’s competence, expertise, and commitment to ethical practices. Life care planners carry a reputation of credibility, which enhances the weight and trustworthiness of their expert testimony in court.
  2. Adherence to Industry Standards: Accreditation ensures that life care planners’ credentials are verified, HIPAA compliant, and are well-versed in current industry practices, guidelines, and legal requirements. By staying up-to-date with evolving standards, planners can provide accurate and reliable assessments, ensuring their opinions withstand scrutiny in court proceedings.
  3. Improved Client Confidence: Engaging a life care planner instills confidence in clients, attorneys, and the court. Accreditation provides assurance that the life care planner has undergone a rigorous evaluation process and possesses the necessary qualifications to offer credible and unbiased expert testimony.
  4. Unbiased and Objective Assessments: Accreditation emphasizes the importance of impartiality and objectivity in the assessment process. Life care planners follow established protocols to ensure their evaluations and recommendations are based on reliable evidence, leading to fair and unbiased assessments that hold weight in legal proceedings.

Expertise Your Organization Can Trust in the Courtroom

“When choosing a specialized healthcare provider or niche service,  always look for the URAC seal on the entity’s website or ask if they hold URAC accreditation.” — Anita Berkley-Dushek, PharmD, Compliance Officer, TD&P.

By engaging a life care planner, attorneys and clients can trust in the knowledge that their testimonies will be bulletproof in the courtroom. That’s why, at TD&P, we chose to become a URAC-accredited organization for the independent medical examination process. We’ve solidified our dedication to delivering accredited expertise in life care planning and IME services. This ensures proper licensing and credentialing of the medical examiner, as well as quality assurance and improvement within our process and use of best practices. Further, our life care planners possess the necessary qualifications, skills, and ethical principles required for providing objective, unbiased, and evidence-based opinions in court. Our commitment to upholding the highest professional standards means our expert team delivers unbiased and credible expert witness testimony. Coupled with our expertise and accreditation, our innovative software delivers life care plans and valuations in mere minutes instead of months, so you can focus on our case.

Ready to discover how TD&P’s statistical modeling and groundbreaking software, backed by URAC accreditation, can deliver bulletproof results in your case?