A case manager is an integral part of a client’s care team. Their job is to act as an intermediary between a client and medical professionals to ensure their client’s needs are met. Case managers specialize in many different areas, including pediatrics, geriatrics, and everything in between. Let’s look at the different specializations that a case manager can choose, and how this helps them to be a valued member of their client’s care team.
The Basics of Case Management
Many clients have complex care plans that involve a number of medical professionals and services. A case manager serves as an advocate for their client by collaborating with each member of the care team to make sure the client’s needs are being met by a variety of medical personnel.
Case managers have been serving clients since the early 1900s, when public health nurses and social workers began arranging services for clients who needed multiple facets of care. After World War II, insurance companies began to recognize that soldiers needed treatment from a variety of medical professionals, which were best facilitated by a case worker.
During the 1970s, Medicaid and Medicare created programs that entrusted case managers with the ongoing treatment plans for people in many different groups, including the mentally ill, the aging, and people in poverty. Today, case managers help clients in all kinds of circumstances, ranging from substance abuse to long-term disability, with the primary goal of advocating for the improvement of the client’s quality of life.
Why Specialize in Case Management?
Case managers who specialize in one field can better serve their clients. By specializing in one area, a case manager has the training needed to create a tailored care plan to meet their client’s needs in a specific area. Case managers help people through a large scope of health conditions and life circumstances, and it’s always best to have an expert in the field on your side.
With a specialized case manager, a client can rest assured that their care plan is being coordinated by someone with extensive knowledge about their unique situation, and they’ll be able to meet their needs best.
Specializing in case management also provides unique opportunities for career growth. By focusing on one area of expertise, you’ll be able to follow a career path that’s tailor-made for your skill set.
Specializations in Healthcare Case Management
Case managers are healthcare professionals who advocate and coordinate care for clients in a variety of settings. There are many areas of specialization in case management, including specific diseases, age categories, and substance abuse disorders. In each area, the case manager is charged with providing support for their client so they get the treatment they need to heal.
Disease-Specific Case Management
Case managers who specialize in certain diseases help their clients navigate treatment with a variety of health care providers to ensure that they’re getting the medical treatment they need. Case managers also oversee medication management, education about treatment, and help navigate insurance issues along the way. Some of the medical conditions that fall under this category include:
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- Congestive Heart Failure
- End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD)
Because these health conditions require a variety of professional services long-term, a case manager can coordinate care to ensure the client is getting what they need to live a full, happy life.
Geriatric Case Management
A geriatric case manager works with seniors and their families to ensure that all needs are being met. As the client’s condition changes, the case manager can provide resources for medical services, alternative living arrangements, and long-term caregivers. The case manager’s job is not only to facilitate services for the client but also to offer relief to family members as their loved one navigates the changes that may come with aging. The case manager will provide open lines of communication between the family members, the medical care team, and the client so that everyone’s on the same page.
Pediatric Case Management
A pediatric case manager supports clients from birth to 17 years of age. This includes children with long-term health conditions, special needs, and children living in complex socioeconomic settings. The case manager will advocate for their client’s medical needs to ensure that the care team is informed and on board with the proper treatment plan. He or she also provides parents with the training and resources they need to care for a child with unique medical needs, along with general parenting resources.
Mental Health Case Management
A mental health case manager provides support to someone suffering from a mental health condition. They coordinate care across a variety of medical services and therapies, provide better access to resources, and offer support to their clients every step of the way along their journey toward better mental health. This results in better outcomes for clients because they have better access to the service they need.
Substance Abuse Case Management
Substance abuse is a complex issue that requires a variety of services for mental health, medical health, and family support. A substance abuse case manager is tasked with collaborating with health professionals across a variety of sectors to ensure that their client is getting the care they need to achieve sobriety and better health overall. This holistic approach works best when a case manager is at the wheel, acting as a liaison between medical professionals, service providers, family members, and the client, to ensure that everyone’s on the same page.
Learn More About Case Management
PASCO is an organization that’s committed to providing the care client’s need to live full, happy, and healthy lives. PASCO works closely with case managers as an important part of each client’s care team and advocates and supports their clients as they progress through their health journey. If you’d like to learn more about what it takes to become a case worker, contact us today. We’d be happy to help you choose whether a career in case management is right for you, and what specialization suits you best.