Case Management

Sneak peek: ACMA credential focuses on hospital challenges

Case Management Weekly, October 24, 2012

Various types of certification are available for case managers, but one credential focuses on the specific skills needed in a hospital setting—Accredited Case ­Manager (ACM™) certification.

ACMA, based in Little Rock, Ark., established this ­certification, specifically designed for hospital case managers, in 2005. To date, more than 2,200 hospital case managers have earned this credential, ­according to information provided by ACMA spokesperson Tyler Neese.

Case managers and social workers with at least two years of relevant hospital or health system experience are eligible to take the exam, according to ACMA.

Obtaining ACM certification offers many advantages, says Donna Ukanowicz, MS, RN, ACM, director of the case management program at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

ACM certification is becoming a preferred or required element in job postings, says Ukanowicz. It also helps case managers climb the professional ladder, according to ACMA, which says 47% of its credentialed professionals credit the certification with providing a career boost and increasing their professional knowledge and competency.

Certification demonstrates commitment to case management, and the continuing education requirements necessary to maintain certification can help keep skills sharp, says Ukanowicz. It also validates that you know what you're doing, says Nancy J. Loeffler, RN, BSN, ACM, CCM, director of case management at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, Va.

Loeffler says the ACMA exam tests case management knowledge in various practice areas, including screening and assessment, care coordination, discharge planning, psychosocial assessment, outcomes management, and ensuring proper postacute placement.

The exam requires recalling information and applying it with critical thinking skills, says Loeffler. One section tests knowledge, skills, and abilities; the other includes clinical simulations that require analysis and a response. The exam is designed so that it is relevant to the skills of nurse and social worker case managers.

Editor’s note: This article is adapted from an article in the October Case Management Monthly published by HCPro, Inc.


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