Case managers play a significant role in the delivery of various human services such as health, social, etc.
They typically work in the medical facilities, homeless shelters, schools or governmental social services departments.
Responsibilities, skills, and qualifications are rather common for all case managers, however, the job of a particular case manager will depend on the employer or work environment.
Further in the article, you will find details related to the case manager job.
Article Table of Contents
What Does a Case Manager Do
Even though specific responsibilities can vary from one setting to another, the primary duty of case managers is to guide clients who need to overcome their challenges.
Their job involves gathering information, developing strategies, executing the details and retooling when necessary.
To be able to do their job, case managers need good listening skills, be able to evaluate and show concern for clients and their families.
- Review applications or information of service recipients and clients.
- Evaluate clients’ needs, including critical and immediate problems.
- Set goals and develop strategies and action plans.
- Track and keep records of clients, treatments, recommendations, and progress.
- Explain the rights and responsibilities of clients in programs or services.
- Refer clients to various community resources, such as treatment facilities, clinics, hospitals, depending on their needs and challenges.
- Collect information about clients from the service providers for clients.
- Delegate tasks to specific staff or members assisting the manager in providing client services.
- Meet with clients and family members if needed on a regular basis.
Specific duties of a case manager can be defined by a particular work setting.
For instance, a nursing case manager is a registered nurse who coordinates and develops a care plan for patients, residents of nursing homes, or people in the hospice centers.
In terms of managed care or insurance companies, nursing case managers monitor the care provided to patients to ensure the services are necessary and cost-effective.
These professionals obtain patients’ histories and assess their needs.
Case managers in social services or public assistance agencies have to determine whether the applicant meets the income eligibility requirements or resources.
In a treatment facility or a homeless shelter, case managers oversee the compliance of the residents with the facility rules.
Case managers in schools have to guidance counselors and teachers to create and realize individualized plans for the students’ special needs.
Case managers have to listen to clients or their family members and acquaintances to understand the needs of a client and refer them to the proper services.
They offer references, advice, rules and other information.
When communicated properly, the applicant for the services can understand the eligibility requirements to meet them.
Case managers should be able to analyze the challenges and problems of clients and refer them to proper services.
They should also evaluate the efficiency of the treatment, solutions, and other services.
Analytical skills also include the application of eligibility requirements to the information provided by the client or on their behalf.
Case managers constantly interact with multiple people with different perspectives and interests in cases.
Clients, students, patients, and their families need empathy, especially when the progress is slower than desired.
In other cases, case managers should advocate for a client, so they can receive specific services within or without an agency.
How to Become a Case Manager
Case managers should have education and experience in a specific area of work.
Plus, with certification as a case manager, they can expand their job prospects.
Training and Qualifications
The required education and training will greatly depend on the field in which the case manager works.
For instance, nurse case managers should be registered nurses.
They should also hold a bachelor of science in nursing or have a community college degree or graduate from a hospital nursing program.
In social services agencies or human resources, case managers need classes in social work.
Education courses can be useful to those working with elementary or secondary schools.
Generally, case managers aren’t legally required to be certified.
However, nursing case managers should be registered and licensed as nurses in their jurisdiction.
Certification can help with getting hired.
According to the Commission for Case Manager Certification, two out of five employers required that the case managers were board-certifies in 2014.
In 2004, about 26% of employers required board-certification.
The experience required for the case managers depends on the work setting.
For example, nursing case managers have work experience in clinics, hospitals, or physicians’ offices.
Case managers in social service agencies usually have experience as caseworkers or intake specialists.
Aspiring case managers should log three years and 4,500 hours of paid and supervised post-graduate work in case management.
This is the requirement by the National Association of Social Workers.
Those who seek accreditation by the American Case Management Association should have a year in case management in health care delivery.
The job of a case manager is generally full time with a 40-hour week.
In schools or social service departments, case managers work during standard weekday hours.
Nursing case managers in clinics or physicians’ offices can also have traditional working days and weekends.
Case managers in insurance companies, especially those dealing with disability and workers’ compensation, have to travel to physicians’ offices or medical facilities.
There are numerous job opportunities for case managers in various fields.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment rate should grow by 16%, meaning 439,000 more job openings, by 2024.
The openings for social workers in healthcare should increase by 19% or 30,900 jobs.
Social jobs in the mental health and substance abuse areas should grow by 19%, which is 22,300 jobs.
The demand for case managers is dictated by the increasing number of patients needing substance abuse or other medical care.
With the health and workers’ compensation insurers’ influence, nursing case managers are in demand to ensure the efficiency of treatment and determine issues like a maximum medical improvement.
Case managers should collect and analyze information to determine whether clients are eligible and what care they need.
They should also have meetings with clients and evaluate the success of services and treatment.
Training and education received should relate to the specific field in which they will work.
There is a high demand for case managers.
Health insurers and others interested in managed care need accountability from health care providers.
Nursing case managers fill this demand in their field.
With easier access to healthcare for patients, case managers have broadened employment opportunities.