Coalition of organizations develops common vision

Goal is to help CMs address future challenges

Case management stands at a crossroads and needs a common vision plan that unites case managers across the broad health care spectrum, a group of case management leaders has concluded.

The Case Management Society of America (CMSA) in Little Rock, AR, and the Academy of Certified Case Managers hosted "Visioneering Case Management’s Future," an invitation-only meeting held in December 2002 for leaders in the field.

The purpose of the meeting was to position case management for the future and to take a leadership role as a united front, says Toni Cesta, PhD, RN, FAAN, director of case management at Saint Vincent’s Hospital in New York City, who was a representative of hospital-based case management at the meeting.

The group of case managers representing a variety of practice settings, disciplines, organizations, and certifying bodies came up with a series of initiatives designed to help case managers deal with current challenges and those they will face in the future.

"The meeting has generated sustained excitement and collaboration. The next steps are for the groups to pursue the priorities as identified," says Jeanne Bolling, MSN, CRRN, CDMS, CCM, executive director of CMSA.

A follow-up meeting is planned for the summer. A web site to support the new group is being developed, Bolling says.

According to the group, trends that are impacting the practice of case management include health care personnel shortages; rising health care costs and the focus on savings; burnout; change in patient demographics and the nature of disease; technology that affects care delivery as well as diagnostic evaluation and costs; and pressure on case managers to abandon the client advocacy role because of time constraints.

Work groups came up with the following plans of action:

  • Developing consumer-friendly definitions and frequently asked questions about successful care management. The purpose is to build awareness and achieve recognition in business and industry and among consumers. The project is the first step toward developing consumer expectations for case management.
  • Collecting data about case management practices and work environments in leading organizations.
  • Developing a blueprint to promote and disseminate research to promote an understanding of what case management is, how to do it well, what outcomes it produces, and the value of case management in health care. A task force from the Council for Case Management Accountability and the Commission for Case Manager Certification Foundation has begun working on a draft.
  • Gathering tools and literature that can be used to demonstrate cost savings, return on investment, and other case management outcomes in a consistent manner.
  • Defining core competencies and the means to enable case managers to reach them, including training and outreach.
  • Forming a "Case Management Leadership Coalition" to create a voice for leadership among a broad spectrum of case management practices.