The Difference Between Care Manager and Case Manager

11 Jan 2022
Discover the difference between care manager and case manager, and identify the best support for your child's needs.

Understanding Care Managers

When it comes to navigating the complex medical landscape, especially for parents of children with disabilities, care managers play a pivotal role. This section aims to shed light on the role and responsibilities of care managers and their importance in fostering patient relationships.

Role of Care Managers

A care manager, according to ChartSpan, can hold various professional titles, such as a nurse practitioner, physician assistant, clinical nurse specialist, health coach, or certified nurse-midwife. The distinction lies not in their medical training but in the responsibilities they hold.

Care managers assess patient needs beyond what a physician's orders may dictate. They develop comprehensive care plans that take into account factors such as access to transportation, medication procurement, and treatment adherence. These considerations are crucial for improving care outcomes and ensuring that patients receive the most beneficial care possible.

Building Patient Relationships

The role of a care manager extends beyond medical coordination. Building robust patient relationships is essential for driving positive care outcomes. Care managers often emphasize empowering patients to be active participants in their care, instead of adopting a parental role.

Care managers are tasked with connecting patients with necessary support outside of the medical setting. They consider the social determinants of health, which can significantly impact health outcomes. These determinants may include factors such as neighborhood, community, economic status, and access to education.

In the context of parents with children with disabilities, care managers can be an invaluable resource. They can help navigate complex medical systems, coordinate care plans, and build strong relationships that empower parents to be actively involved in their child's care.

Understanding the role of care managers is the first step in distinguishing between care managers and case managers - a distinction that could make all the difference in managing care for children with disabilities.

Responsibilities of Care Managers

The responsibilities of a care manager go beyond mere administrative tasks—they play a vital role in shaping the health outcomes of their patients. The key responsibilities involve developing individualized care plans and coordinating medical treatment.

Developing Care Plans

The first crucial responsibility of a care manager involves the development and management of complete, individualized care plans for patients. This process is often employed for patients diagnosed with complex illnesses, recuperating from a traumatic clinical event, or managing multiple clinical co-morbidities.

Care managers assess patient needs beyond a physician's orders. They consider factors such as access to transportation, medication procurement, and treatment adherence, which are crucial for improving care outcomes.

This comprehensive approach ensures that the care plan is not only medically accurate but also considers the patient's life circumstances to support compliance and ultimately improve health outcomes.

Coordinating Medical Treatment

Care managers are responsible for coordinating medical treatment and care for patients. They communicate with healthcare providers, manage medications, and research treatment options for their patients [2].

Often, this involves conducting monthly phone calls with patients for at least 20 minutes each. These calls require a thorough review of the patient's medical records before each call, ensuring that care managers have the most up-to-date information about the patient's health status [3].

Care managers spend the majority of their day on the phone with patients discussing chronic conditions, managing goals with care plans, and building relationships with patients, which is considered the most important part of the job.

Moreover, care managers are essential players in Chronic Care Management programs. They drive patient interactions under these programs, providing non-face-to-face interactions per patient per month and supporting patients with chronic conditions to improve care outcomes.

In sum, care managers play a pivotal role in the healthcare sector by developing comprehensive care plans and coordinating medical treatment to optimize patient health outcomes. Understanding the difference between care manager and case manager can enable parents of children with disabilities in New York to make informed decisions about the care their child receives.

Importance of Care Managers

Care managers play a pivotal role in navigating the complex healthcare landscape, especially in the context of managing care for children with disabilities. Their responsibilities extend beyond medical coordination, encompassing a wide range of duties that are crucial to ensuring the overall well-being of patients.

Connecting Patients with Support Systems

A vital aspect of a care manager's role is to connect patients with social and community support systems. This ensures that the patient's health is sustained, not just through the management of chronic conditions but also through the creation of a supportive, holistic environment. Building strong patient relationships is central to this, as it drives positive care outcomes and empowers patients to be active participants in their care rather than passive recipients [1].

Care managers spend the majority of their day on the phone with patients discussing chronic conditions, managing goals with care plans, and building relationships with patients, emphasizing the importance of communication and empathy in their role.

Administrative Duties

The administrative duties of a care manager, while perhaps less visible, are equally critical. These duties involve patient calls, charting, and managing care for a large number of patients. To handle these tasks efficiently, care managers often rely on care management software, which helps streamline their work and ensure that no patient falls through the cracks.

In addition to managing calls and charts, care managers are responsible for coordinating medical treatment and care for patients. This often involves conducting monthly phone calls with patients for at least 20 minutes each, necessitating a thorough review of the patient's medical records before each call.

The multifaceted role of care managers underscores their importance in the healthcare system, particularly in managing care for children with disabilities. By connecting patients with support systems and handling administrative tasks efficiently, care managers ensure that patients receive the care they need and deserve.

Becoming a Care Manager

For those considering a career in healthcare, particularly in supporting families with children with disabilities, becoming a care manager could be a rewarding choice. This section discusses the educational requirements for this role, as well as the job outlook and salary expectations.

Educational Requirements

The journey to becoming a care manager begins with obtaining the right education. To qualify as a Care Manager, candidates will likely need to earn an advanced nursing degree, such as a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. It is essential to obtain an active RN license and pursue certification for career advancement [2].

However, it's worth noting that care managers can come from various medical backgrounds. They can be nurse practitioners, physician assistants, clinical nurse specialists, health coaches, or certified nurse-midwives. The distinction is more about the position's responsibilities rather than the level of medical training [1].

Job Outlook and Salary

As for the job outlook and salary, the field of care management appears promising. The average annual salary for Care Managers is around $83,000 per year or about $42 per hour. Salaries typically range between $75,000 and $99,000, with top earners in the 90th percentile making over $113,000 per year.

Moreover, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts substantial overall growth for Medical and Health Services Managers and Registered Nurses, with overall employment of Medical and Health Services Managers projected to grow by 32 percent by 2030.

In comparison, the Certified Case Manager (CCM)® credential holders, which are often preferred by employers, have a median annual salary between $90,000 and $100,000 [4].

The rewarding nature of the role, coupled with the promising job outlook and competitive salary, makes becoming a care manager an appealing career choice for those passionate about healthcare and supporting families with children with disabilities.

Differentiating Case Managers

In the quest for understanding the difference between care manager and case manager, it's important to look at the distinct responsibilities and specialization areas of case managers.

Role of Case Managers

Case managers are professionals who assist individuals dealing with complex social and health issues, creating a bridge between individuals in need and organizations offering assistance. They often work in various settings such as hospitals, child welfare agencies, homeless shelters, and mental health clinics Forbes.

Their roles include preparing reports, writing grants, advocating for clients, and providing support to the families of their clients and patients. While they share a common goal with social workers of helping individuals facing challenges like substance use disorders or homelessness, a key distinction lies in the fact that licensed social workers are able to provide therapy to clients, while case managers act as intermediaries between clients or patients and service-providing organizations Forbes.

Specializations in Case Management

Case managers can specialize in various areas such as nursing, education, mental health, or corrections. The requirements for these roles can vary. For instance, registered nurse (RN) case managers help patients navigate medical care, requiring a nursing license. Other case managers assist families in finding housing resources or developing treatment plans, roles that may not necessarily require a specific license.

Case management certification is preferred by 74% of employers and can lead to higher salaries. Certified Case Manager (CCM)® credential holders have a median annual salary between $90,000 and $100,000. The American Case Management Association offers another certification option, the ACM, which requires at least one year of supervised case management experience for applicants.

In the context of children with disabilities, both care managers and case managers play crucial roles, each bringing a unique set of skills and expertise to the table. Understanding the difference between the two can help parents make informed decisions about the kinds of support and resources their child might need.

References

[1]: https://www.chartspan.com/blog/what-is-a-care-manager/

[2]: https://www.unitekcollege.edu/blog/how-to-become-a-care-manager/

[3]: https://www.thoroughcare.net/blog/what-is-a-care-manager

[4]: https://www.forbes.com/advisor/education/social-work/become-a-case-manager/

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