The Value and Differences of the CLCP/CCLCP™ and the CMCPS™
My name is Reva Payne, the primary author of the Certified Medical Cost Projection Specialist™ (CMCPS™) Training Program. I am the Vice President of Clinical and Medical Management for Marker28, a woman-owned, New York-based boutique firm in the Medicare Compliance and Medical Cost Projection space.
The CMCPS™ Training Program was designed to assist individuals in providing a product based on a sound methodology and consistent format. This professional certification is backed by the International Commission on Health Care Certification (ICHCC), the oldest and largest international certifying agency in the field of life care planning service delivery in the United States and Canada, and the only all-inclusive agency to offer its CCLCP™ and CLCP™ credential to qualified health care professionals from many diverse academic degree education and professional backgrounds. The ICHCC is also the oldest and largest certifying agency in the United States for Medicare Set-aside Consultants and allocators, overseeing the Medicare Setaside Certified Consultant credential. It is my distinct honor to partner with this organization to bring you this new certification.
The purpose of this presentation is to address some concerns some of you might have regarding the new certification and how it impacts you, your companies, and the industry. Many questions regarding the CMCPS™ credential are from our community of highly experienced credentialed professionals (Certified Life Care Planners™). As the insightful and critical thinkers you are, I would expect nothing less. I want to commend all of you for your dedication to life care planning and medical cost projection. Your professionalism, experience, and products continue to be second to none.
You might be asking yourselves why the CMCPS™ credential was needed in the first place. As a Certified Life Care Planner™, you are uniquely qualified to provide medical cost projections to your clients with no need for additional certification. Why would you pursue or need this other certification? The short answer is you don’t. However, as a Certified Life Care Planner™, you are also keenly aware of the difference between life care plans and medical cost projections. You know many of your clients do not pursue life care plans for various reasons. The case is not complex; litigation is not anticipated, the life care plan is more expensive, your client only needs to set reserves or start the negotiation process. There may be time constraints or an inability to communicate with all the parties, including the injured or the person with a disability. These factors resulted in a request for a product that became known as a medical cost projection.
With the advent of medical cost projection came the need for a more condensed, simplified, abstract document that provided an estimate of items and services that an injured person with a disability would, in all probability, require. The medical cost projection does not eliminate the need for life care plans. The medical cost projection is limited in scope, is a proactive approach, can be completed any time during treatment, often covers only a portion of the care, and is used frequently to set reserves in settlement negotiations and early demands. Once the need was identified in the market for medical cost projections, the market began to produce the product in various formats and with a variety of methodologies. The industry developed policies and practices for the development, and the standards varied. Although some similarities emerged, for the most part, the medical cost projection was a product without a regulatory body overseeing ethical standards, practices, or policies.
By developing a standardized training program, defining the methodology, a standard of ethics, and practice, the ICHCC added value to the industry and its professionals. So, in short, the medical cost projection emerged naturally to fill a need within the industry. The ICHCC recognized and developed a training program, a certification process, and the standards that would regulate and govern the practice of medical cost projection much like those for life care planning. In developing the CMCPS™ certification and the CMCPS™ training program, the ICHCC worked to ensure that any CLCP™ or CCLCP™ who wanted to obtain the CMCPS™ would be allowed credit for the vast educational components they received in their CLCP™ and/or CCLCP™ training programs. This is why CLCPs or CCLCPs in good standing only need to complete Module 7 of the CMCPS™ training and submit a sample medical cost projection report for peer review to fulfill the training requirements.
Recently, it has come to our attention some life care planners are concerned the Certified Medical Cost Projection Specialist™ Certification would dilute the Certified Life Care Planner™ Certification. Accounts would opt for a more cost-effective way to get the information they needed by requesting the medical cost projection instead of a life care plan. Let’s be honest; this is already happening. medical cost projections are requested more often than life care plans because they are deemed a more cost-effective alternative. This is not something new to the industry. As life care planners, it is incumbent upon you to educate your client about the differences between life care plans and medical cost projections. If they are anticipating litigation/testimony, you should educate them on why the life care plan is the definitive choice. They may still choose to go with the medical cost projection, despite the fact it is not the ideal product for the basis of litigation and testimony. However, you can still be the professional who completes the report. Some life care planners have indicated they are testifying on the medical cost projections they complete. Anything you produce short of work product can be subpoenaed and utilized in the litigation process. This has always been the case. As a life care planner with some of the highest degrees of expertise in the industry, you know to be prepared for all the possible scenarios regardless of the products you produce. This does not change with the advent of the medical cost projection specialist. Suppose you have provided the necessary insight to your clients regarding the differences between medical cost projections and life care plans. In that case, your clients will know to choose the best professional that will present the information professionally and for the purpose intended.
Some life care planners have insisted to me the Certified Medical Cost Projection Specialist could result in lost business for the life care planner as accounts move to certify their staff in medical cost projecting and complete these types of reports in-house. They already do – many companies complete life care plans and medical cost projections in-house. Just type “medical cost projection” at your search engine and review the multitude of results. You will find law firms, contractors, and related companies that perform medical cost projections and life care plans as part of their services. The best way to compete in a market with many competitors is to differentiate yourself. You have already made yourself more valuable by having a prestigious certification, CLCP™ and/or CCLCP™. The way you keep and attract clientele has not changed. Personal recommendations, word-of-mouth marketing, adapting to your audience/your market, identifying gaps in the market, and creating a professional product will continue to be required. Your ability to educate your clientele on the purposes and differences of life care plans and medical cost projections cannot be stressed enough.
What is constant is change. What is needed is the ability to adapt. Although success is never a given, anticipating change and adapting to it will provide you with an edge. You already have the foundation, knowledge, experience, and certification needed to succeed in this industry. The CMCPS™ program is a value-added certification; it promotes consistency and defines the Certified Life Care Planner™ and/or the Canadian Certified Life Care Planner™ as the definitive professional.
I hope this information provided today proves valuable. I want to thank you so much for your time and attention today. I wish you future success in all your professional endeavors.