Telephonic Case Management: Call Frequency Secures Relationship with Vulnerable Populations

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013
This post was written by Patricia Donovan

telephonic case management

Call frequency is a key factor of telephonic case management.

Determining the frequency of case management calls is a key parameter of interacting with populations telephonically, advises Jay Hale, LPC, CEAP, director of quality improvement and clinical operations at Carolina Behavioral Health Alliance (CBHA).

We follow all of these members for one year because we are looking at helping people manage and maintain changes in their life over all four seasons. In addition to progression of the disease, lack of treatment adherence has also become a factor. There are social triggers in people’s lives that make a difference in whether or not they maintain their recovery, wellness and well-being. We want to support people through the holidays, major traumatic events, anniversaries of major traumatic events and other parts of their lives that may be significant for them.

With telephonic case management, it is important to call often up front to start and maintain a relationship. It is not so much the amount of time spent on the call, as the frequency of calls that helps secure the relationship with members. We want to talk to individuals frequently and spread it out over time by increasing the length of time between calls.

We want to get the relationship started, maintain the relationship and then pull back as the individuals begin to work on their own and become more successful in their own wellness/recovery program from mental illness or from an addictive disease.

Our ratio protocol was very aggressive and optimistic. We originally had weekly calls up front for the first month, spreading out to biweekly calls and monthly calls, and bimonthly calls as it went on throughout the year. That was a very aggressive idea. The reality was that much of our population is a working population because we have all self-insured or privately insured members. Therefore, they have a difficult time maintaining that kind of protocol. We backed off that a little bit, and we went to biweekly phone calls up front. Then we spread that out over time to monthly calls and then bimonthly calls as people begin to improve.

Listen to an audio interview with Jay Hale.


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