Case Manager

What is a Case Manager?

A case manager uses their knowledge and understanding of health services and client care to help others remain as functional and healthy as possible. They provide guidance and advice, determine the type of help needed, assist the individual in finding this help, create treatment or recovery plans, and keep tabs on the individual’s progress. Case Managers typically work alongside psychologists, social workers, and other individuals in the health and human service authority industry.

These professionals may provide care for the elderly who need in-home care services along with those recovering from substance abuse. Other clients served by case managers include individuals with disabilities, hospice patients, and those who are chronically ill. It’s also possible to gain employment as a specialized case manager, which includes treatment specialists, medical social workers, and rehabilitation counselors.

As a case manager, you perform work with the idea that optimizing an individual’s ability to function not only benefits them, but their community, friends, and family, too. Some case managers may specialize in working with a specific population, such as adolescents who have developmental disabilities or with adults who have a substance abuse problem. They may also work in a setting where the types of clients served varies greatly.

Job Responsibilities

To find success as a case manager, you need to understand what your responsibilities are. However, your tasks may vary based on the setting you work in. Below are some examples of what your role could look like across various settings in the health and human services industry.

If you work in a clinic, physician’s office, or another pre-acute setting, the role will be geared toward prevention, with case managers taking on or coordinating tasks such as:

  • Patient knowledge and treatment compliance
  • Wellness programs
  • Coordination with medical services
  • Screenings
  • Health risk assessments
  • Referrals to resources in the community
  • Risk-reduction strategies
  • Disease management
  • Telephonic triage

For case managers in a hospital setting, the jobs they may take on include:

  • Transition to post-acute care
  • Utilization review
  • Coordination of care among team members
  • Resource management
  • Discharge planning

For those working in the field of acute inpatient rehabilitation, some job roles could include:

  • Utilization review
  • Coordination of the IDT meetings
  • Discharge planning
  • Facilitate referrals
  • Verify the benefits and authorization of services

Case Manager: Career Outlook

Employment of social and community service managers is projected to grow 9 percent from 2022 to 2032, much faster than the average for all occupations.

About 16,000 openings for social and community service managers are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

Much of the job growth in this occupation is the result of a population increasing its number of older adults. This age group has a greater need for social services, such as adult daycare, creating demand for social and community service managers.

In addition, employment growth is projected as people continue to seek treatment for their addictions and as people with substance abuse disorders are increasingly being directed to treatment programs rather than sent to jail. As a result, managers who direct treatment programs will be needed.

What Can I Do With My Degree?

Once you have obtained the necessary education, you can consider a variety of careers in the social services field, such as a social worker, community service manager, or case manager. It’s a good idea to work with your school counselor to explore all the possible career options that are open for you as you pursue your education and future career in the field of case management. With a strong, projected growth, you will find this career is one that offers a multitude of opportunities for those who choose it.

Additional Training/Requirements

Usually, case manager positions require you to have a bachelor’s degree in either social work, social services, or psychology. You may need to obtain a master’s degree in social work or in public health if you want to secure the role of case manager at a school, in a health institution, or if you want to do any type of clinical work.

As you shape your educational path, you may want to consider Bryant & Stratton College’s BS in Human & Social Services degree program. Take various courses, such as abnormal psychology, social advocacy, public health issues, and family theory that will prepare you for careers in human service organizations.

Employment Settings

While some case management roles are the same regardless of the setting, such as educator, assessor, and patient advocate, some other functions are particular to the setting. There are a multitude of workplaces that case managers may find themselves, such as:

  • Clinic/Physician’s office
  • Mental Health Facilities
  • Payer-based settings (i.e. insurance companies)
  • Hospice care, home care, and palliative care
  • Workers’ compensation case management
  • Government case management
While these projections can help career-minded people evaluate potential employment fields, it is important to note that job market data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Handbook is only intended to provide insight on occupational opportunities. It should not be construed as a guarantee of salary or job title. Neither BLS nor Bryant & Stratton College can guarantee employment in any field.

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