Career Development

What Does a Case Manager Do?

Find out what a case manager does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a case manager.

Case managers are responsible for overseeing the care of individuals who require assistance due to a disability, illness or other condition. They work with clients and their families to create an individualized plan that meets their needs while also taking into account their wishes and preferences.

Case managers may be involved in all aspects of this process, from developing plans to coordinating services with various agencies and organizations. They may also serve as a liaison between clients and providers, ensuring that everyone is on the same page about what’s expected and when it will happen.

Case Manager Job Duties

A case manager typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Communicating regularly with clients to ensure that they are receiving appropriate care, medications, or other services
  • Providing emotional support and guidance to clients who may be experiencing difficult life situations
  • Coordinating client appointments with other healthcare providers, including physicians, therapists, psychiatrists, nurses, and social workers
  • Coordinating transportation for clients to and from home, work, medical appointments, and other locations as needed
  • Ensuring that all client needs are met by providing food, clothing, shelter, and other basic necessities
  • Providing training to new staff members on proper client care techniques
  • Helping clients maintain their living environments by arranging for repairs or other maintenance tasks to be done
  • Establishing trust with clients through active listening and providing appropriate feedback in a nonjudgmental manner
  • Conducting assessments to determine the nature of a client’s situation and develop a plan to resolve any issues

Case Manager Salary & Outlook

Case managers’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the type of organization they work for.

  • Median Annual Salary: $44,500 ($21.39/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $79,500 ($38.22/hour)

The employment of case managers is expected to grow much faster than average over the next decade.

Demand for case managers will increase as healthcare providers continue to focus on reducing costs and improving the quality of care provided to patients. Case managers will be needed to help organize and coordinate care for patients with multiple conditions or special needs, such as those who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid.

Related: In-Depth Case Manager Salary Guide

Case Manager Job Requirements

A case manager typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: Case managers are typically required to have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. Some of the most common majors for case managers are social work, human services, psychology and nursing. These degrees provide case managers with the foundational knowledge of human behavior, social services and health care.

Training & Experience: Many case managers receive on-the-job training when they start a new position. This training may last for a few weeks or a few months, depending on the company and the case manager’s experience. During this training, the case manager will learn about the company’s policies and procedures, the software they use and the clients they serve. They will also learn about the specific needs of the clients they will serve.

Some case managers choose to pursue a career in social work. During this training, they will learn about the different aspects of social work, including the different populations they may serve and the different roles they may play. They will also learn about the different skills they will need to succeed in this field.

Certifications & Licenses: Certifications allow professionals to prove their qualifications to current and future employers. Case managers can earn certifications to gain more practical knowledge of the day-to-day responsibilities and techniques involved in case management.

Case Manager Skills

Case managers need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication skills: Case managers communicate with many people on a daily basis, including their clients, other case managers, supervisors, medical professionals, law enforcement officials and other support staff. Effective communication skills can help you convey information clearly and concisely, which can help you and your clients understand each other better. It can also help you resolve issues quickly and efficiently.

Empathy: Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. As a case manager, you may work with people who are experiencing a variety of emotions, including fear, anger, frustration and sadness. Empathy can help you relate to your clients and help them feel comfortable opening up about their personal challenges. It can also help you understand their needs and develop a plan to meet them.

Time management: Time management is another important skill for case managers to have. They often have many tasks to complete in a day and keeping track of their time can help them prioritize their work. For example, if a client has a doctor’s appointment, the case manager may need to make sure they arrive on time.

Critical thinking: Critical thinking is the ability to analyze a situation and make a decision based on the information you have. Case managers often use critical thinking skills to make decisions about their clients’ needs. For example, if a client is struggling to find employment, a case manager might use critical thinking skills to determine if the client needs additional resources or if the case manager needs to make a referral to a different program.

Medical knowledge: Medical knowledge can be a valuable skill for a case manager to have, as they may be responsible for ensuring their clients receive the care they need. Having medical knowledge can help a case manager understand medical terminology and ensure their clients receive the right treatment. It can also help them identify any potential health issues their clients may have.

Case Manager Work Environment

Case managers work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, community health centers, and private practices. They may also work for insurance companies, managed care organizations, or government agencies. Most case managers work full time, and some may work evenings or weekends to meet with clients or attend meetings. Case managers may also be on call 24 hours a day to respond to emergencies. The work can be stressful, and case managers must be able to handle multiple tasks and deadlines. They must also be able to work independently and make decisions that are in the best interests of their clients.

Case Manager Trends

Here are three trends influencing how case managers work. Case managers will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Growth of Telehealth

The growth of telehealth is a trend that is quickly changing the way that healthcare is delivered. By using technology, patients can now receive care from doctors and nurses who are located miles away.

This trend is having a major impact on the case management industry, as it allows for more efficient and cost-effective care. Case managers can now work with patients who are located across the country, which opens up new opportunities for them.

More Focus on Patient Satisfaction

As hospitals and other healthcare facilities focus on patient satisfaction, case managers will need to develop skills in customer service.

Case managers are often responsible for managing the needs of patients and their families, which includes everything from answering questions to helping with insurance paperwork. In order to be successful in this field, case managers will need to be able to communicate effectively and understand what patients want and need.

Greater Use of Technology

The use of technology in the case management profession is growing rapidly as more and more businesses turn to technology to streamline operations.

As case managers are increasingly asked to utilize technology in their jobs, they will need to learn how to use software tools and applications that help them manage cases more efficiently. This includes things like electronic medical records, which allow case managers to access information about patients quickly and easily.

How to Become a Case Manager

A case manager career can be very rewarding, but it’s important to consider all the factors that will influence your success. One of the most important things is to find a company that matches your values and culture. You should also make sure that you have the right skills and experience for the job.

If you want to become a case manager, there are several ways you can get started. You can take online courses or attend school programs, or you can work as an intern at a company that offers case management services. It’s also important to build relationships with other professionals in the field, so you can learn from their experiences and share your own knowledge.

Related: How to Write a Case Manager Resume

Advancement Prospects

There are many ways to advance in the field of case management. One of the best is to obtain further education, which can lead to positions that are not otherwise open to those without an advanced degree. For example, a case manager with a bachelor’s degree may wish to obtain a master’s degree in social work, which would enable him or her to apply for clinical positions that are not otherwise open to them. Alternatively, a case manager with a bachelor’s degree in nursing may wish to obtain a master’s degree in nursing, which would enable him or her to apply for management positions that are not otherwise open to them.

In addition to further education, case managers can also advance by obtaining specialty certification, such as the certified case manager credential or the board certified specialist in geriatric case management. Often advancement depends upon the goals of the individual, as he or she decides where to go with this career.

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