Case management is crucial to providing holistic care to a patient who is living with a long-term illness or disability. This specially trained healthcare professional advocates for their patient, while coordinating services to ensure that the patient has the care they need and the autonomy to live their life to the fullest. Let’s look at two different types of case managers, and how their important roles benefit the lives of our loved ones.
DEFINING INTAKE AND ONGOING CASE MANAGERS
Intake case managers are health care workers who meet a patient for the first time. Their main job is to gather information about the patient in order to refer them to the appropriate services. Then, the intake case manager will assign a case manager to implement the patient’s care plan.
An ongoing case manager, on the other hand, works with their client for a longer period of time. This type of case manager is in it for the long haul, and their job is to coordinate with other health care team members to make sure the patient has the resources and quality care they need to progress. The case manager will evaluate and modify the patient’s care plan as needed, in order to help them reach their goals and achieve wellness.
ROLE OF INTAKE CASE MANAGERS
An intake case manager’s role is very important. He or she is tasked with gathering as much information from the patient as possible, so accurate treatment plans can be established. This includes demographic information like the patient’s name, address, and contact information. They’ll also ask for insurance information, the patient’s medical history, and screen for any immediate needs that the client may have. That way, they can refer the patient to the right services.
ROLE OF ONGOING CASE MANAGERS
An ongoing case manager creates the client’s care plan, implements it effectively, and evaluates their progress periodically. If the client’s needs change, the ongoing case manager can modify the patient care plan in order to meet their needs best. An ongoing case manager works alongside their client as an advocate and cheerleader, to ensure that they get the services they need to live as independently as possible.
EDUCATION AND TRAINING REQUIREMENTS
Intake case managers need to have at least a high school diploma. In some states and facilities, a person may be required to have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in either human resources or a related field. Ongoing case managers must have at least a bachelor’s degree in a field like health care administration, nursing, or social work. There are additional certifications that can be obtained in order to become a Certified Case Manager (CCM).
Some state requirements may differ, and more information can be found on the American Case Management Association (ACMA) website.
SKILLS REQUIRED FOR INTAKE CASE MANAGERS
An intake case manager needs to have excellent communication skills and interpersonal skills since their the first person to greet and care for the client. They also must have great problem-solving and time management skills in order to effectively assess and refer each patient to the services they need.
SKILLS REQUIRED FOR ONGOING CASE MANAGERS
Ongoing case managers must be able to manage multiple caseloads at once. Additionally, an ongoing case manager will need to be able to develop effective case plans and modify them as needed. Excellent evaluation skills and the ability to monitor a client’s progress are also ideal.
DIFFERENCES IN WORK ENVIRONMENT
Intake case managers typically work in an office setting, where they can greet clients, gather information, and assess them properly. Ongoing case managers work in a variety of settings, depending on the work environment and client needs. Since they meet regularly with their clients, the clients’ families, and the health care team, an ongoing case manager’s job is on-the-go.
CASE MANAGEMENT CHALLENGES FOR INTAKE CASE MANAGERS
Intake case managers experience high caseloads with narrow time constraints. That means they have to work efficiently to care for each client. Intake case managers also have limited resources to work with, and oftentimes, the job can be emotionally taxing.
CASE MANAGEMENT CHALLENGES FOR ONGOING CASE MANAGERS
Ongoing case managers must balance many clients’ needs at once and often find it very challenging to meet their needs effectively. Advocating for a client’s needs can take a lot of work, especially when there are multiple health care teams involved in their case, and it can be frustrating to ensure that each member of the health care team is adhering to the client’s care plan.
DOCUMENTATION AND RECORD-KEEPING
An intake case manager’s job is to gather information from a new client, and then properly document the information so an ongoing case manager can create a care plan. That means they’ll need to carefully record information and screening results so they can be passed along to the appropriate personnel. Ongoing case managers must create a care plan that’s uniquely designed for each client, and then record the client’s progress over time.
ADVANTAGES OF INTAKE CASE MANAGEMENT
Intake case management allows a client to get early intervention and quick access to the services they need. This also allows a client to receive services that are tailored to their unique goals and needs.
ADVANTAGES OF ONGOING CASE MANAGEMENT
Ongoing case management allows a client to receive comprehensive care that encourages growth and wellness. An ongoing case manager provides consistent continuous care that can easily be changed as a client’s needs change.
LIMITATIONS OF INTAKE CASE MANAGEMENT
An intake case manager greets and assesses clients, but they rarely follow-up with them after services have begun. In fact, an intake case manager’s time with each client is very short, and they’re limited in the number of services they can offer.
LIMITATIONS OF ONGOING CASE MANAGEMENT
Ongoing case management is extremely effective, but there are several limitations that make it difficult. The high cost and number of caseloads make it difficult to find an ongoing case manager that’s available to hire at a reasonable price.
Intake and ongoing case managers work together to provide support and care for clients with long-term illnesses and disabilities. An intake case manager’s job is to greet the client and gather all the information needed in order to provide the right services. An ongoing case manager will then create a customized care plan for the client, and they’ll advocate for them every step of the way.
Case managers are extremely beneficial for the well-being and autonomy of individuals who have long-term illnesses and disabilities, and their quality of life is greatly improved. They act as advocates and liaisons between a client and their health care team, so they get the services they need.
If your organization is interested in investing in case managers, contact us. We’d be happy to provide more information about these essential roles.