Case Management Week puts you in the spotlight

Celebrate your role in healthcare

For a long time, case managers have been the unsung heroes of healthcare, but that's all changing.

"We're entering the Golden Age of Case Management. The Affordable Care Act, the Accountable Care Organization initiatives, and other patient-centered, value-based models of care all recognize the value of case management. This year, we truly have something to celebrate during National Case Management Week," says Mary Beth Newman, MSN, RN-BC, CMAC, CCP, MEP, CCM, program manager, case management, WellPoint Centers of Medical Excellent, based in Mason, OH, and the new president of the Case Management Society of America.

National Case Management Week, Oct. 9-15, is an industry-wide event to recognize the contributions that case managers bring to the healthcare arena and to educate the public about the significant work they perform, Newman points out. "This is a chance for case managers in all settings to raise awareness of our role and the value of case management with colleagues within their own organization, with government officials, and with consumers who may benefit from case management interventions," she says.

Case managers can gain recognition in their workplace by organizing celebrations in their workplace, put up posters celebrating case management week, and arranging for articles about case managers in the company newsletter or online. Many local case management chapters organize educational events, luncheons, or other celebrations for members. The Case Management Society of America (CMSA) has produced a guide to planning and promoting National Case Management Week. The guide is available free to the public on the Internet at www.cmsa.org/CMWeek.

But don't stop there, Newman suggests. Develop events in public areas, such as hospital lobbies, community centers, or nursing homes to educate the public about case management. Set up displays that explain case management. "There are so many ways that consumers can benefit from case management, but many of them don't know what kind of services we provide. This week gives us a wonderful opportunity to bring case management to the forefront by educating our patients, our clients, and members of the public about how we can help them manage their health and spend their healthcare dollars effectively. People need to know their options so they can make informed choices," she says.

Newman suggest getting your governor, mayor, county executive, or another local government official to sign a proclamation recognizing National Case Management Week, then send out a press release to your local news media. "When you have a proclamation in hand, it gives you a lot of leverage with the media. It validates the profession and shows that we're really being recognized," she says.