Overcoming Occupational Challenges of Case Management

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012
This post was written by Jackie Lyons

Healthcare companies are increasing their utilization of case managers to help identify and manage high-cost, high risk patients. In this critical industry role, case managers are often presented with occupational challenges ranging from promoting a positive public opinion of case management to finding ways to help time-consuming patients.

Case management, especially in the workers’ compensation industry, is often still viewed as a necessary evil or a drain on the bottom line. S&H is constantly striving to ensure goal-directed quality care, timely return to work and documentation of the cost savings achieved as a result of the case manager’s intervention,” says Linda Van Dillen, executive VP/partner of S&H Medical Management Services, Inc.

Helen Schreiber, executive VP of S&H Medical Management Services, Inc., agrees that case managers are not always highly regarded. “Involving the injured worker in the process and making certain that the case manager is honest with him is what is most beneficial to the process. Many times the case manager is perceived as the ‘nurse police’. Those words were spoken to me by an injured worker,” she said.

Another challenge is finding the means to help the high-cost, high-risk patients that case managers identify. “Finding services for obese or no-pay-source patients is a challenge. We work with management for creative sponsoring of needed services,” said Sonia Morrison, case manager at Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System (SVMHCS).

Case managers are overcoming these challenges and impacting the healthcare industry in a big way. According to HIN’s third annual Healthcare Case Management e-survey, 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.

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