Case managers are the guides and translators during each step of care in our health system. Pocket Prep is now offering test study prep for the CCMC CCM exam. Learn about the profession and what you need to know to pass this exam.
Author: Clint Glidewell, LSCSW, LCAC, MBA
Most people don’t know what to do when a loved one experiences the sudden onset of a catastrophic illness involving surgery, hospitalization and complex aftercare. For many, it means being thrown into a new world where the management of a healthcare crisis is the new obligatory hobby.
Case managers are the glue that keeps this process moving.
Becoming ill in our present healthcare culture can feel like being shipped off to a foreign country where you have no power, no currency, and do not speak the language. Case managers help serve as translators and guides. They speak the language and can connect people to the correct resources.
They help navigate people through the admission, procedure, acute care, and recovery stages. Case managers help answer questions about medications, pharmacies, aftercare, and paying bills.
What Do CCMC Certified Case Managers Do?
Case Managers are the experts that assist with all of the problems and questions people face:
- What medications are needed?
- Will my pharmacy have what I need?
- How does aftercare work?
- How will I pay for this?
Depending on the setting, Nursing or Social Work case managers are the professional healthcare navigators that address the needs of patients in our healthcare system where any system is weakest—its transitions.
Case Managers might be the greatest practical experts in the healthcare process. They specialize in the continuum of care and addressing the flow of a patient’s experience in addition to its specific events.
Their main role, no matter what the setting, is to listen, help discover patient needs, and connect patients to resources and services. Case managers plan for the future, interface with other professionals, and monitor their patients for progress.
Why Become a CCMC Certified Case Manager?
In the healthcare industry, where so many care providers only get a snapshot of their patient’s story, case managers help direct the movie. For those seeking a greater connection to patients on a longer-term basis, the role is ideal.
For those seeking variety, CCMC CCM certified case managers can work almost anywhere in the healthcare industry-acute care, long-term care, psychiatric treatment, even managed care organizations.
If you are an experienced healthcare professional, the CCMC CCM certification crystallizes your experience for potential employers. If you are relatively new to the profession of case management, the CCMC CCM certification is an indispensable resume enhancement.
Who Needs the CCM Certification?
Though the variety of the profession’s roles make estimates tricky, the median salary for a case manager in the United States according to Salary.com is $80,265. A case manager with the CCMC CCM certification has the oldest and most highly valued credential for case managers.
According to the CCM website, case managers with the CCMC CCM certification overwhelmingly report (88%) that the certification has had a positive impact on their careers, and nearly everyone who has the certification (94%) has recommended the CCMC CCM certification to other case managers.
Moreover, according to the same website, 44% of employers require the CCMC CCM certification, and many support its value as a credential, with 58% paying for their employees to take the exam.
Who is Qualified to Take the Exam?
A full guide to eligibility requirements can be found here, but here are the basics:
One or more of:
- A clinical license (RN, LSCSW, etc.)
- Bachelor’s or Masters’ in a Health or Human Services Field
- A preexisting certification (CRC, CDMS, etc.)
And at least 12 months of full time supervised case management experience.
What is on the Exam?
The CCMC CCM exam tests five knowledge domains on 180 items to be taken in three hours or less. The domains include:
|Area & Percentage of Questions||Topics*|
|Care Delivery and Reimbursement Methods (31%)||What do you know about levels of care, managed care concepts, the case management process, and healthcare delivery systems?|
|Psychosocial Concepts and Support Systems (27%)||Do you know about behavioral change, client empowerment/engagement, abuse and neglect, and mental illness?|
|Quality and Outcomes Evaluation and Measurements (18%)||Be prepared to answer questions about accreditation standards, program evaluation, quality indicators, and healthcare analytics.|
|Rehabilitation Concepts and Strategies (9%)||Can you answer questions about assistive devices, functional capacity, vocational, and rehabilitation service delivery systems?|
|Ethical, Legal, and Practice Standards (15%)||How well do you know the relevant laws and ethical standards that inform responsible case management practice? Are you well-versed in confidentiality, case recording, and boundaries?|
*These are example topics. You can view the full guide to the examination’s content here.
How Do I Get Started?
Find quality test prep and devote time to study. You can also try practice questions for the CCMC CCM with Pocket Prep’s CCM study prep. It features 500 practice questions and multiple study modes designed to help studyers pinpoint their weak spots and get practice in where they need it most.
Clint Glidewell is CEO and Director of Therapy Services at a large state mental hospital, where he provides direct care to those with severe and persistent mental illness in addition to program design and process improvement.