What Exactly Is Case Management Anyway?
Case management is defined as the collaborative process of assessment planning, facilitation and advocacy for options and services to meet an individual’s health needs through communication and available resources to promote quality cost-effective outcomes.
From a work comp viewpoint what does all of this mean to the injured worker and the employer?
- When an injured worker reaches the optimum level of wellness and functional capability everyone benefits.
2. When a nurse case manager is involved, days away from work or “lost time” can be reduced without affecting the quality of care. In fact, care is often enhanced by the expertise that a nurse brings to the case.
Nurses who work as case managers in the area of workers’ compensation come from varied backgrounds. Typically these nurses first worked in occupational health, managed care, and discharge planning before starting with workers’ compensation. Because so many work injuries are related to orthopedics or neurology, a nurse with expertise in these areas is extremely beneficial.
The Different Type of WorkComp Nurse Case Management
- Telephonic- Nurse Contacts are only by phone or letter.
2. On-site, also known as Field Case Management, (this is the most effective form of case managment). Nurse visits the claimant in person at physician appointments, at the worksite, meets with the employer or attends medical visits with the claimant to discuss follow-up care and treatment.
3. Task-Nurses are directed to carry out a particular task and are not assigned to the file for an extended period of time. It might be to collect a report or to prepare records and coordinate for an Independent Medical Evaluation (IME).
Regardless of the type of case management used, the nurse should be at the center and an ACTIVE contributing member of the team.
Our guest author Victoria Powell is the President of VP Medical Consulting, LLC located in Central Arkansas. VP Medical Consulting is a nurse consulting firm providing services to employers, insurance companies, attorneys and the general public. Services include case management, life care planning, legal nurse consulting, ergonomics and patient advocacy. Ms. Powell holds specialty certifications in a variety of nursing specialties. She can be reached through the web at
http://www.vp-medical.com or by phone at 501-778-3378.
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