The FAMCare Blog

Is Case Management the Best-Kept Secret?

Posted by Stephen Tucknall on Feb 17, 2017 2:45:54 PM


Is case management the best kept secret in healthcare?  With all the new "classifications" of how caseworkers and health care providers interact with their clients and patients such as "care coordination" and "patient advocating" - is the term case management getting lost?

I did a little research into this topic and found a great article written by Dorland Health, a leading integrated media publisher in the healthcare industry, that I wanted to share.  Please check it out below.

Revealing the Best-Kept 'Secret' of Case Management

Amidst all the talk about how to improve quality, efficiency and efficacy in health care these days, case management sometimes feels like the best kept secret. Those of us in the field know the difference that case management makes to those for whom we advocate, in particular patients with complex cases or multiple co-morbidities.

Yet at times, case management seems to occupy an understated position while newer and sometimes nearly synonymous terms such as care coordination take the spotlight.

To understand why, we need not look beyond ourselves.

Clarity in Definition

Across the spectrum of health and human services, case management is made up of nursing professionals who, by their nature and vocation, are nurturers and caregivers. We expend so much emotional energy giving to others that self-promotion seems both unnatural and too much work. Few of us have the extra energy it takes even to contemplate the difference we make to our patients, employers, profession and community.

That, however, is precisely what we need to do. As case managers, we need to “toot our own horn” individually and collectively to promote our practice to our patients/clients, our employers, the health care teams with which we collaborate, and within the broader community of health care practitioners.

Case managers from every discipline and background must capitalize on the ongoing health care reform discussion and become informed and empowered participants in the debate. Unless we make our voices heard, we run the risk of getting lost in the ever-widening chorus of job titles and roles, such as care managers, care coordinators, patient navigators, guided care nurses and the like. We need to draw attention to the important roles that case managers fulfill as patient advocates and stewards of scarce and costly care and treatment resources.

The 2009 Case Manager Role and Functions Study conducted by the Commission for Case Manager Certification (CCMC) revealed the essential activities and knowledge areas that define the practice of case management.
Essential activities are identified as case management process and services, resource utilization and management, psychosocial and economic support, rehabilitation, outcomes, and ethical and legal practices. Knowledge domains determined by the study are case management concepts, healthcare management and delivery, principles of practice, psychosocial aspects, health care reimbursement, and rehabilitation.

As the role and function study findings reveal, case managers contribute their knowledge and expertise in meaningful ways in the pursuit of desired clinical, financial and patient-satisfaction outcomes.  Moreover, those who are certified case managers go the extra step to attest to their professionalism, commitment to continuing education, and adherence to a strict ethical code. These are the qualities that case managers should showcase in order to differentiate the practice against an increasingly confusing backdrop in which nonclinical people in largely administrative roles are sometimes called “case managers.”

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