Case Management

Mentor moment: Case management involvement in implementing healthcare reform

Case Management Weekly, July 14, 2010

A few weeks ago, I was privileged to be a part of the American Case Management Association’s (ACMA) Advocacy on Capital Hill event. I joined other ACMA representatives in Washington DC to visit my state’s legislators, as well as other officials. It was a great experience, and we were able to voice our concerns as a powerful, organized association.

Our goal was to focus on specific areas of healthcare reform that case management can positively affect. Case managers are skilled, clinical experts in the areas of transitional care and the admit per case management protocol. Many credible healthcare organizations are developing great processes for measuring transition of care outcomes. The healthcare reform law is huge, so we focused on the areas we can speak to with expertise and authority. Nurses can greatly impact healthcare reform, as we are advocates for the patients and our healthcare organizations.

I was impressed and amazed at the differences in knowledge there was on Capital Hill regarding case management and its importance. We visited some offices where the lawmakers had little knowledge, if any, about case management, while others were well-versed in the impact of case management.

My visit to Senator Charles Grassley’s (R-IA) office is one that sticks out in my mind. I was very impressed with his knowledge of case management. He sees the importance in having case management involved in healthcare reform and the Accountable Care Organizations (ACO). I have e-mailed Senator Grassley’s office a couple of times since my trip and his staff quickly replies to my questions and concerns.

I encourage nurses and case managers to get to know their senators and representatives. Become knowledgeable of what their views are on nursing involvement in healthcare reform Contact them, and advocate for nursing participation in healthcare reform.

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