Words From a Past President of the Case Management Society of America
BY ANNE LLEWELLYN, RN-BC, MS, BHSA, CCM, CRRN
At the recent Case Management Society of America Annual Conference in Austin, TX, 10 of the past presidents of the organization held a general session to share their insights into the practice of case management. The panel of leaders made it clear that case management is recognized as one of the essential tools patients, payers and providers are using to improve outcomes, contain healthcare costs and improve the patient experience throughout the broad healthcare system.
The group participated in an interactive discussion with the audience and shared that for the practice to continue to grow, professionals involved in case management must be nourished with continuing education, leadership and mentoring at every level. Today, unlike in the early days of case management, there is research to demonstrate the value case management professionals bring. With publications like CMSA Today and Professional Case Management, professional case managers have the opportunity to share their work.
The panel agreed that in order to meet their goals, professionals working in the area of case management need to follow the Standards of Practice for Case Management to reflect current practice. The Standards, when implemented into individual and organizational practice, allow professionals to share a common bond and demonstrate the value they bring regardless of the setting. The Standards also can be used to educate the C-suite as to how case management is and what case management is not.
The panel also emphasized the importance of educating and empowering patients and their caregivers on how to effectively utilize the healthcare system to meet their needs. It was stressed that case managers must also do more to get the message out to the public and help people understand the value of accessing a professional case manager when they are thrust into the healthcare system. Doing so can help them be more engaged consumers by ensuring they understand their conditions, participate in the development of their plan of care and have access to the resources necessary to meet their individual needs.
All agreed that as the practice matures, we must find ways to invite new professionals from the multidisciplinary healthcare workforce to consider case management as a career path. Leaders on the local, state and national levels must take the time to mentor those new to the practice. We have to find a path into case management for those who want to enter the practice. New leaders must be identified and develop the grassroots workforce so we can ensure the next generation of case management.
The panel session ended with each of the past presidents letting conference attendees know they are available to speak one on one as well with your organization leadership about the challenges you face as well as some of the solutions to issues impacting the practice of case management.
Moving forward, and to demonstrate their commitment to the practice of case management, the past presidents of CMSA have committed to sharing their expertise and insights by contributing an article in each issue of CMSA Today. The topics will vary as each past president brings a wealth and variety of information to the table.
If you missed the session in Austin, or want to learn more about the past presidents of CMSA, feel free to read “Reconnecting with the Past Presidents of CMSA,” which was published in 2016 in Issue of 8 CMSA Today.
To contact one of the past presidents, feel free to call the national office for their contact Information. ■
Anne Llewellyn, RN-BC, MS, BHSA, CCM, CRRN, served as president of CMSA in 2003-04. Currently, Anne is recovering from a recent healthcare crisis. She lives in Plantation, Florida, and is an active member of the South Florida Case Management Network. To contact Anne, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.