Case Management

Consider alternative resources in rural communities

Case Management Monthly, July 1, 2010

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It may seem silly to city dwellers, but determining the location of the patient’s home is often the first step for rural case managers. Some small towns do not have mail delivery. Residents may have their mail delivered to a post office box or rural route box.  

Case managers may need to negotiate with service providers if a patient lives several miles away from a particular resource. For example, some home healthcare agencies will travel beyond their normal service areas if the frequency of visits is limited. 

Food delivery programs could deliver meals to a caregiver or family member if he or she lives within its delivery radius. This can be an easy fix if the caregiver is willing to take the food to the patient. Caregivers can also pick up food from the food delivery program’s base of operations. Under such arrangements, the programs will typically provide several frozen meals.  

This was the solution for one patient from our facility who lived 30 miles from a senior center that provided the home-delivered meals. Her caregiver picked up frozen meals twice per week. 

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