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Name: Case Management
Description: Coordinates care for patients with catastrophic injuries and chronic illnesses. Ensures that patients are identified and receive the care and resources needed to treat their illnesses or injuries in the least restrictive setting at the most appropriate time.
Diagnoses: Spinal Cord Injuries, Traumatic Brain Injuries, Cancer, HIV/AIDS, Transplants, High-Risk Pregnancy and Premature Infants, Diabetes, COPD, Asthma, Behavioral Health Issues, Amputations, End-of-Life Issues, Muscle and Skeleton Injuries, and other high-cost injuries and chronic conditions that effect children and adults.
Client age group: Infants through the elderly
Drawbacks: Case management is a fragmented practice and is in the refinement stages of development. Today, many case managers work in areas with defined benefit plans dictate treatment. The key to successful case management is to recognize limits and to draw from community resources when benefits are not available.
Desirable skills: Clinical background to understand the medical as well as the psychosocial issues that accompanies illness and injuries. Oral and written communication skills are essential to communicate effectively with other healthcare professionals, patients, and their families. Other skills that are needed are the ability to problem-solve and to be proficient in conflict resolution skills. Computer skills, organizational skills, and the ability to do research are also important to effective case management.
Education: Degrees in nursing and social work makeup the majority of healthcare professionals in the practice of case management. Physical, occupational, and respiratory therapists also work in case management in their areas of specialty.
Employers: Managed Care Organizations; Provider settings, such as Acute Care Hospitals, Acute, Subacute, and Long-Term Care Rehabilitation Centers; Employer settings; DME companies; and Physician's offices.
Certification: Once case managers meet the eligibility criteria for certification, they are encouraged to sit for a national examination. The Commission for Case Manager Certification is the most recognized case management certification. This exam is a multidisciplinary certification for those who meet the eligibility criteria set by the commission. The American Nurses Credentialing Center also has developed a national case management certification for those case managers who are registered nurses. The National Association of Social Work has developed their own case management certification specifically for Social Workers.
Associations: The Case Management
Society of America
8201 Cantrell Road, Suite 230
Little Rock, AR 72227-2448

Publications: The Case Manager is the official publication of the Case Management Society of American.