First, what do case managers do?
Case management isn’t about looking at someone’s file and signing orders. Case managers work with a client or a client’s family to align and facilitate the right resources based on that client’s needs. What’s important to know is that job specifics are different depending on what kind of case manager you are. Case managers work in many different fields and have different backgrounds.
Case managers are employed by nonprofit organizations, private sector companies, and government agencies. A medical background, while not necessary for all types of case management, is very common.
What types of case managers are there?
There are many types of case managers out there across many industries. Here are some of the commonly found types of case managers and their primary roles:
1. Nurse Case Manager
Nurse case managers are RNs who work in hospitals or institutional facilities. They are responsible for creating long-term care plans for individuals. They also coordinate doctor’s appointments and help individuals and families communicate with insurance agencies. Nurse case managers act in the best proactive interest for their patients.
2. Home Health Case Manager
Similar to nurse case managers, home health case managers are often RNs or LPNs. What’s different is where the care is provided – in a patient’s home. Home health case managers develop a plan of care (POC) for each patient and will be responsible for coordinating between various resources.
3. Social Work Case Manager
Social work case managers deal with much more than the medical state of their patients or clients. They have to look at social, environmental, and psychological factors that affect or influence the people they work with. A BSW or MSW is required for this type of case management.
4. Remote Case Manager
Remote case management has been on the rise since the start of the pandemic and isn’t slowing down. Many aspects of case work can be done through remote technology and in some ways can increase efficiency for the case manager.
These are just a few of the types of case management. Within each type there can be specialties. For example, nurse case managers often choose a specialty, like aging populations to work with. Social case managers may choose school or prisons as their specialty.
Do I need to get certified?
It depends on the type of case management you want to do. Not all case managers are required to have the same background or certification. However, like most industries, professional certifications can make you more competitive as a potential hire.
The Commission for Case Manager Certification (CCMC) was founded in 1992 and offers nationally accredited case management certification. In the field, being a Certified Case Manager (CCM) is recognized as a high standard of dedication to the profession.
The median annual salary for CCMs ranges from $80,000 – $85,000 which is above the average salary for both RNs and social workers.
If you do decide that a CCM certification is right for you, here are some facts about the certification from the CCMC.
- 88% of Certified Case Managers (CCMs) are RNs
- 96% are women; average age 54
- 29% have master’s or doctoral degrees
- 26% are in executive or management roles
- 58% of employers pay for case managers to take the CCM exam
- 50% of executive level case managers earn $100,000+
Case managers require many skills. Knowledge of medical practices, insurance, social factors, and community resources. Case managers must be patient and empathetic. In order to properly assess a client or patient, a case manager has to interview them and understand where their issues are.
Often people are recovering from an illness or embarking on a long-term diagnosis that will change their life. Creating a plan, putting the patient or client at ease, and connecting all the relevant people and resources is a tough, but rewarding job.