Elderly, chronically ill, and injured patients often depend on home healthcare services to receive the treatment they require from the comfort of home. Home healthcare is a popular alternative to long-term care because it's less expensive, more convenient, and just as effective. Once doctors refer patients for home healthcare, a case manager will be appointed to coordinate every detail of their services based on their medical condition. Home health case managers are highly trained professionals who make certain patients are obtaining the resources needed to get better and become as independent as possible. Case managers in home health services act as vital links connecting patients and their families with physicians, nurses, social workers, and other specialists. Home health case managers formulate a treatment plan to meet each patient's rehabilitation goals and help achieve better quality of life.
Based on data published by Salary.com, the average yearly salary for case managers employed in the United States is $72,459, which could be equated to an hourly wage around $35. This base salary doesn't include the healthcare, pension, social security, disability, and other benefits that most case managers receive. With bonuses included, case managers make a median salary of $73,189 every year.
When just starting out in home health case management, you'll likely land in the bottom tenth percentile of earnings with a yearly salary under $61,155. However, it's important to note that home health care managers who work for large companies and take on administrative roles can eventually bring home upwards of $85,472 annually.
Home health case managers are given the significant responsibility of helping patients manage complex medical conditions by organizing the high-quality daily care services they require. After an intake assessment, home health case managers will take the reins in developing a long-term care plan that suits the patient's individual goals. On a typical day, home health case managers may meet with patients, connect with families, refer available community resources, submit insurance paperwork, monitor patient progress, maintain clear patient records, and communicate with doctors. Home health case managers usually balance a caseload of multiple patients in a particular population, such as developmentally disabled or frail elderly patients.
Being successful as a home health case manager requires exceptional interpersonal skills to speak on behalf of your patients and advocate for their well-being. Good listening skills are important because case managers need to fully understand their patients' concerns. Home health case managers should have the compassion and patience to work daily with patients going through difficult medical situations. Treatment doesn't always go as planned, so case managers must be flexible with solid problem-solving skills to keep their patients healthy. Having organizational and time management abilities is a must for case managers to coordinate care for multiple patients at various stages of recovery. Home health case managers should also be leaders to supervise staff providing patient care.
Degree and Education Requirements
Before you can lead the case management team, you'll need to invest in training at the post-secondary level. Most employers will require at least a four-year bachelor's degree. Aspiring home health case managers could major in healthcare administration, nursing, health sciences, human services, social work, or another closely related field. Adding on a minor or certificate specifically related to case management will make you more marketable later. Attending graduate school for a master's degree can also translate into increased responsibility in upper-level jobs. Home health case managers could benefit from a Master of Health Administration (MHA), Master of Public Health (MPH), or even a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN).
Pros and Cons of the Position
Home health case management comes with its fair share of rewards and challenges that you should know beforehand. On the sunny side, case managers have the gratifying job of advocating for patients and guaranteeing that their medical needs are met well. Home health case managers interact with individuals and families to find the best treatment and cope with certain healthcare problems. Prospects in home health services are expected to be very good for the foreseeable future for a quick job search. Home health case managers also have room for advancement into administrator and executive director positions. On the cloudy side, many home health case managers must deal with the pressure of balancing heavy caseloads. Case managers meet with sick patients regularly, which places them at risk for infection. Home health case managers must also meet licensing requirements and invest in continuing education.
While obtaining your training, it's best to step outside the classroom and acquire hands-on experience to bolster your resume. Participating in clinical rotations, job shadowing with case managers, and completing case management internships are all good options. Any administrative positions in healthcare where you're coordinating services for several patients will be great job preparation. Some employers also prefer to hire home health case managers with nursing experience, so taking the steps to become an RN could pay off. Standing out in the case management field may require professional credentials. Through the Commission for Case Manager Certification (CCMC), you can become a Certified Case Manager (CCM). You'll need at least a bachelor's degree, licensing, and 12 months of full-time case management experience to qualify.
As medical costs are rising, hospitals and other treatment centers are sending patients home sooner to recover on their own. This is when many patients turn to home healthcare services to receive treatment help while remaining in their comfortable abode. Our nation's large baby boomer population is reaching late adulthood, which will spike a higher demand for home healthcare services. Higher numbers of individuals diagnosed with disabilities could also require more home health case managers. According to the BLS, employment of case managers will grow rapidly before 2022 at the rate of 21 percent. Home health case managers can expect the best job prospects by earning a master's and becoming certified. Most will work directly for home care services providers or as consultants.
Overall, home health case managers harmonize the various services being provided by other caregivers to make certain every patient's needs are perfectly met. Home health case managers play an important part in developing treatment plans and making tweaks whenever progress begins to wane. If you make the decision to become a home health case manager, you'll have a rewarding career helping ill or injured patients receive the best possible care.
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