The Case Management Society of America (CMSA) is releasing its 2020 Case Management Adherence Guidelines (CMAG) to provide case managers with tactics for improving population health.

The guidelines, similar to past CMAGs, are designed to assist case managers and case management leaders in all practice settings. (The 2020 CMAG is available at:

Over the years, CMSA has produced pharmaceutical support adherence guidelines through corporate support, and produced disease-specific adherence guides through grant funding from pharmaceutical companies, says Rebecca Perez, MSN, RN, CCM, CMSA director of education and product development, and executive director of CMSA Foundation. When that funding ended, CMSA stopped publishing adherence guidelines until this year.

“The CMAGs were very popular with our members, who valued the guides as a tool,” Perez says. “We decided to do another guide ourselves and produce it as a product that’s available to our members at a nominal cost and to nonmembers at a higher cost.”

The 2020 CMAG focuses on adherence in general. “It takes the holistic approach to patients under care and what that involves, including hearing a patient’s voice and involving them in shared decision-making, engagement, and retention,” Perez explains.

The CMAG includes information on listening to a patient’s voice because of research that defines how to do that and why it is important, she says.

“Listening to a patient’s voice actually will improve patient outcomes,” Perez adds.

The guidelines also provide information on preventing readmissions, care transitions, coordinated care, and medication adherence. “It’s a much more extensive guide for a case manager, to give them multiple strategies on how to engage a client and support them through the continuity of care,” Perez says. “It has information on how to help them self-manage their care and to adhere to whatever their treatment plan is.”

The guidelines, expected to be published in June 2020, will be under 75 pages, including references, resources, and appendices. Members can download a PDF of CMAG for $25 ($100 for nonmembers).

Every guideline is based on evidence, Perez notes. “It will be available for download on our website, and I am finishing it as we speak [in March 2020]. It will be much bigger than the last CMAG we published.”

The 2020 CMAG’s chapters will include:

• What is adherence;

• Engaging patients;

• Shared decision-making;

• How to access care;

• Barriers to care.

“There are details in the adherence chapter on being holistic and what it takes sometimes to engage a patient,” Perez says. “There also is information on emotional intelligence, motivational interviewing, and other communication techniques.”

The objective is to find methods for adherence. “We’re looking at things that interfere with adherence and strategies to improve adherence,” Perez says. “The guidelines have information on what to do when someone doesn’t have insurance support, and discusses the typical barriers that prevent someone from adhering to care.”

The new guidelines provide tools that case managers can use, and they focus on the importance of the patient’s experience and social determinants of health. “It’s primarily a narrative with highlighted tools that are repeated in appendices,” Perez says. “We have call-outs in the narrative to important points that are highlighted.”

The CMAG includes graphs, tables, bullet points, and highlighted information that is called out through separate text boxes. “The text boxes are meant to hit home with a specific point that we think is important to be recognized,” Perez says. “In one section on engagement, we highlight the patient activation measure [PAM],” she adds. “It requires licensing, but it’s an important tool. We tell people how to access it.”

The call-out box says that using a tool like PAM can help support the goal of patient-centered care. “The goal is to provide case managers with additional tools to support what they are doing and to make sure they can access information in their various places of work,” Perez explains. “It can support new case managers who may not have a lot of resources at their fingertips, as well as providing additional tools and resources to experienced case managers who might need additional support.”