Case Managers Migrating to Primary Care Offices in Greater Numbers, Finds Survey

The third annual Healthcare Case Management e-survey by the Healthcare Intelligence Network probed for specifics in three new areas: trends in embedded case management, including work locations of co-located case managers and the greatest challenges and benefits of embedding case manager at the point of care; clinical conditions targeted by case managers, and preferred case management certifications.

Responses provided by 153 healthcare organizations indicate that while the level of case management activity remained constant from 2010 to 2012, half of responding organizations are installing case managers at care sites. There was a dramatic rise in the embedding of case managers at primary care offices — a practice that quadrupled over the last 12 months.

To adequately prepare for 2012 and beyond, healthcare companies are utilizing case managers in greater numbers to help identify and manage high-cost, high risk patients. Whether in the health plan office or out at a care site, case managers are having a positive impact on service utilization, management of chronic illness and healthcare spend.

Figure 1: Case Manager Work Locations

Other highlights from the survey include:

  • Four times as many case managers are co-located in primary care in 2012 as they were last year — 58 percent this year versus 14 percent in 2011.
  • In response to new queries on the clinical conditions of most importance to case management programs, 66 percent said individuals with diabetes are the patients most frequently targeted by case management interventions. Their efforts are rewarded: diabetes is also the condition that responds best to case management outreach, say 29 percent.
  • While still the top population targeted by case managers, patients with complex comorbid conditions are getting a little more attention this year from this year’s respondents — 84 percent versus 80 percent last year.
  • Advocating for patients and managing care transitions are the top responsibilities of case managers in 2012, say 85 percent of respondents.

While more than half of respondents said they are locating their case managers in health plan offices, a majority of respondents locate their case managers in hospital sites, with nearly one third using their case managers to oversee the hospital discharge process.

Source: 2012 Healthcare Benchmarks: Healthcare Case Management, May 2012

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2012 Healthcare Benchmarks: Case Management provides actionable information from 152 healthcare organizations on the prominence, placement and responsibilities of case managers as well as case management-driven results in healthcare utilization, cost and compliance.

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