Case Management

Traveling exposes case manager to many models

Case Management Monthly, December 1, 2009

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Vickie Houston, a 20-year nursing veteran, saw travel case management as a great way to gain the knowledge needed to accomplish her next career goal—becoming a case management department director.

Throughout her travels she has come across different case management models and tools that have expanded her knowledge of the profession and help her decide how she plans to design her own department.

For example, at Houston’s current assignment each case manager oversees an entire floor with no help from a social worker. Houston does everything from the utilization management (UM) to all discharge planning. This model is one that Huston says she will not use when she becomes a director. Although it may save on labor costs, the system makes too much work for one case manager.

“What happens is you get so bogged down with the discharge planning that the UM piece is being missed, and [the hospital] typically gets technical denials from insurance companies for lack of clinical information because the case manager is too busy with discharge planning issues,” Houston says. She feels the nurse-social worker dyad model is more efficient.

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