This week, individuals and organizations across the country are celebrating National Case Management Week. Unfortunately, many people are still unfamiliar with the role that case managers play in our healthcare system and throughout our communities.
A case manager assists in the planning, coordination and evaluation of medical services for a patient. Their work focuses on quality of care, continuity of services and cost-effectiveness of healthcare. More broadly, care management takes this important work one step further, by moving the focus from a disease-centric approach, to one that aims to proactively reduce health risks and decrease the cost of care within given populations. If you’ve ever been interested in what a career in case management might look like, consider these reasons for why case managers are invaluable in today’s healthcare landscape:
Evolution of our Healthcare System
Our healthcare is evolving rapidly and creating a high volume of needs. In fact, CMS Studies have found that 15 to 25 percent of patients discharged from a hospital will be readmitted within 30 days or less, and a large number of those readmissions are preventable.
In an effort to counteract this effect, the care management sector is growing to improve the overall experience of healthcare. Care management is intended to improve patient care and reduce the need for future medical services by enhancing education through coordination of care, thus lowering overall costs in the process. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act has defined a need for case management as a necessary delivery model, adding more momentum to the growing opportunities in this sector.
The Path for Care Management
How, exactly, did care management professionals become so important? The pathways to this career path opened up as the demand for more individualized, patient-centered care grew. After all, who doesn’t want to feel as though their specific health concerns and those of their community are being properly addressed? Care managers are identifying the possibly risks of each population, working to find and align the necessary health services needed for each member, and finding ways to successfully deliver those services to those who need it most.
Rather than just caring for those who are ill through our healthcare system, the goal has shifted to help patients recover more successfully and better educate the healthy to lessen hospital admission and readmission rates. It is now a priority to verify the medical necessity for each patient and make sure that only necessary services are being approved. Care management professionals are the key to making this happen.
Variety and High Demand in Hiring
The fact is that with the changing landscape of healthcare, care management professionals are in high demand. Hospitals, medical centers, health plans, managed care organizations, and affordable care organizations are all looking for individuals that can help provide this personalized care. Ranging from social workers and counselors, to nurses and other healthcare professionals, there is a wide variety of roles available in the field. There is also a need for need for telephonic case managers, inpatient case managers and field based case managers; all career paths that play an integral part in promoting education, creating more individualized patient care and improving prevention.
Care management represents a fresh career path focused on positively impacting communities by getting strategic about healthcare. In our evolving healthcare system, these roles are in higher demand than ever. During National Case Management, consider the role these individuals play in shaping patient care for the future, and learn more about the impact they’ve had.
Are you in care management or know someone who is? We’d love to hear your experiences in the comment section below!