The issue of healthcare is very important for citizens of any country. Everybody would agree that some of the essential characteristics of healthcare are accessibility and equal affordability for all social groups. Sometimes the system of healthcare or other social services is so complicated that even having an access to them, a person cannot decide what he or she exactly wants and which benefits he or she will be provided. The services of a case manager in such a case can be very useful, as he/ she will help a customer solve any complicated issues rand receive prompt assistance in the most effective way.
The official website of the Case Management Society of America (CMSA) (http://www.cmsa.org) contains a lot of useful information related to case management for consumers. However, in order to completely understand what a case manager does and which purposes he/she follows, a person should attentively read all the sections on the website about the case managers work. A simple definition of a case manager is not enough to distinguish this profession from a work of a lawyer or some social worker. Therefore, it is good that CMSA gives some information about where a case manager can work and which services he/ she can offer: health care, mental health care, addictions, long-term care, aging, HIV/AIDS, disabilities, occupational services, child welfare, and immigrant/refugee services (CMSA, n.d.). The consumer-directed information also contains some sections related to the certification of the case managers as well as argumentation of why a person needs the services of a case manager. CMSA seems to answer the questions, which any visitor would ask providing them with all necessary information.
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Some of the services of a case manager require special attention. Transitions of care are a good example of such services. Moving from one healthcare setting to some other hospital or clinic or just being allowed to be treated at home sometimes takes a lot of time and is not well-coordinated, especially for elderly patients. Case managers can control this process and assist patients in receiving continuous care. It is important to note that this section of the site (http://www.cmsa.org identify) contains some well-defined examples, which can be very useful. It would be good to have such examples in all other sections. To conclude, it is important to state that the official website of CMSA offered for consideration meets the customers expectations and contains enough information for a consumer to understand the role of a case manager.
There is no evidence to state that the information given on the official website of CMSA is distinguished by the descriptions and facts provided by the case manager who visited the class, the textbook's description of a case manager, and the students' own knowledge or observations of the role of a case manager. However, there are some details, which require special attention. Thus, the book by Nies and McEwen (2015) contains some interesting facts about case management in general, namely its history and the factors, which have influenced its development. It is not consumer-directed information like the descriptions given on the official website of CMSA, but it may seem very useful to those clients, who would like to learn more about the origin of case management in general.
Nies and McEwen (2015) describe some cases, when a person, namely an elderly patient, does not need a case manager: older adults may not need a case manager, if they possess adequate functional status and can coordinate services for themselves, if they have family support, or if they have formal or informal caregivers, who provide these functions to them (p. 157). This information was not delivered in details by the case manager, who visited the class and was not nicely shaped in the heads of the students. The facts about the ethical issues related to the work of a case manager are also very useful. Understanding the moral aspect of his/ her functions is facilitated by generalizing the main rules and principles, which any case manager should follow. These include the clients right for privacy and his/ her right to be informed of all the services which he/she may have access to. Besides, each case manager should remember that he/ she must be appropriate, reliable and accessible [<...]> (Nies & McEwen, 2015, p. 157), because healthcare is expensive and the resources are limited.
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The aspect of case management, which is particularly described by Nies and McEwen (2015) is the case managers education. There is some information about case managers being ex social workers on the official website of CMSA. Nies and McEwen (2015) confirm this fact and add that due to the growing variety of healthcare services, and because of the insurance covering American citizens and the diversity of resources and healthcare providers, many nurses have become case managers. Moreover, some companies prefer hiring case managers, who have an experience of working both as social workers and as nurses (Nies & McEwen, 2015). Developing the topic of education, Nies and McEwen (2015) move to the issue of certification and deliver some facts, which have been unknown to the students before. Thus, CMSA is not the only origination, which certifies case managers. American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) also has the right to do it. It is possible to see a real application for certification of a case manager in the book. According to this form, a case manager should possess a good moral character, meet acceptable standards of practice, meet a continuum of care requirements <[...]> (Nies & McEwen, 2015, p. 158) and many others. Therefore, the topic of case managers education and certification is fully explored by Nies and McEwen.
Nies and McEwen (2015) name advocacy, assessment, facilitation and planning as four core functions of a case manager. The case manager who visited the class named the same. Nies and McEwen (2015) add some explanations concerning the fact that these functions are performed through the coordination of services including medical visits, home food delivery, equipment provision and many others. The authors note that a case manager may be active and inactive. Those people, who need his/her services on a regular basis, especially the elderly, get some assistance in the determined periods of time, when a case manager is active. Some duties are left reserved for the future, when he or she is inactive (Nies & McEwen, 2015). Nies and McEwen (2015) give their readers a chance to compare a case manager and a nurse case manager in the way he/she is defined by ANCC. These general ideas of ANCC and CMSA about the role and functions of a case manager are generally the same. An important comment, which ANCC makes regarding a nurse case managers role, is related to the purpose of his/ her activities: nurse case practitioners should do everything possible to fight the fragmented and duplicated healthcare (Nies & McEwen, 2015). In response to this statement, CMSA has elaborated a number of standards, which should be followed by all case managers. These standards include correct case identification, client detection and assessment of processes, monitoring of outcomes and many others. It is possible to state that ANCC and CMSA greatly contribute to creating the correct image of a professional and a certified case manager.
The issue, which requires special attention, is the fields of case managers operation. The descriptions of Nies and McEwen (2015) are mostly based on the consumers, which used to live in the hospital settings or were sent home to continue their treatment. This is the idea, which the students had. However, the case manager made a passing remark and the official website of CMSA (n.d.) generalized the idea that hospitals and clinics are not the only possible places, where the customers may reside. As it was mentioned above, different juridical and social aspects are also covered by the services of a case manager. As the task of this paper is to analyze the consumer-related information about case managers, the scope of their services is essentially a significant topic of discussion. If people have an idea of how to apply to a case manager, they should be aware of the range of situations, in which this type of manager can help and substitute some medical workers, governmental officials or even lawyers although not completely, but at least they can free the client from directly applying to these specialists.
To conclude, it is important to note that the sphere of case management gains more and more importance at the employment market. Some time ago people knew such professions as a nurse, a physician, a lawyer or a politician. They also had the idea of their direct functions. However, modern healthcare and social systems have undergone serious modifications and have become much more complicated. The materials used for this task have helped the students to get a clear idea of what case managers do. Nowadays case managers are the best assistants who determine the needs of the customers and coordinate their healthcare and other social services for these people to get the best from what the state can provide.