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Despite the realization that care management is a key element to success in value-based payment, a clear and common definition of the role and its responsibilities has not been adopted. Accurate job descriptions are not always present, and when they are, they don’t align with day-to-day activities. Care managers spend most of their time in the “and duties as assigned” task rather than those focused on supporting patients that need targeted care management.

The result is frustration and staff turnover, and the scenario, unfortunately, is common. Because care management is a relatively new role, it’s tempting for practices to hire individuals with what they perceive to be the right resume. But without a data-informed, well-conceived plan to integrate and support the role, care management fails to meet the distinct needs of the practice.

“Practices need to be strategic in establishing the role,” says Kristen Stine, HealthTeamWorks’ program manager. “Care management is about helping patients achieve their best outcomes. This enables  the practice to gain optimal reimbursement and financial stability. Effective care management is required for success in a value-based payment environment. It’s not a nice-to-have any more. It’s a have-to-have.”

HealthTeamWorks has developed a series of trainings to equip care manager supervisors, managers, physician leads, or any role responsible for the care managers or the care management function to accelerate performance. Those improvements lead to higher reimbursement and often result in better staff retention, too.

Leading Care Management comprises four online programs, each of which takes between four to five hours to complete. This online format is designed for working professionals who want to immediately apply new skills to the practice of leadership in care management. Lessons are practical. Assignments, based on the learner’s real-world practice needs, include feedback via interactive engagement opportunities with HealthTeamWorks faculty so that participants complete activities they need to lead care management programs within their practices.

This series of programs guides participants through key steps, such as analyzing the practice data to identify the appropriate care management resources; creating a job description to fit the skills and experience required; evaluating caseloads and staffing; and establishing boundaries to ensure the care manager remains focused on activities that produce return on investment.

“We’ve been working directly with care managers and realize a lot of the challenges they face, like lack of clear direction and overutilizing the care manager for tasks others can complete, have to be addressed by their manager. We need to equip these managers.”

The four online programs are Program and Role Development, Hiring for Impact, Supporting Care Team Integration, and Evaluating Success. These programs can be purchased separately, as needed, or as a complete series.  The introductory cost is $575, which includes all materials for 12 months of training with unlimited access to the tools, resources, and tips in HealthTeamWorks’ Solutions Center (a $400 value).

For more information about HealthTeamWorks’ Leading Care Management series training, email solutions@healthteamworks.org, or call 303.446.7200.