If you want to work in the health care industry but wish to work on the business end versus direct patient care, case management certification may be a wise option. Specific training is required to become certified and find employment.
A case manager is a trained professional who oversees the treatment of patients. It involves examining the health and social services necessary for each individual client's situation. A case manager coordinates care provided by multiple professionals and then makes sure the care provided is safe and effective. She then relays this information to the insurance company or employer who is paying for the services to determine what services are covered and how long the care can be provided. Case managers balance patient advocacy with cost containment.
In order to become trained as a case manager, you first need to be licensed in a medical field. This includes holding a license such as registered nurse, practical nurse, social worker, or physical therapist. Different colleges and training programs have various requirements, so you need to check with the specific programs you're considering to determine their requirements. Case managers must be able to can carry out their jobs while maintaining confidentiality and following a strict code of ethics.
Case management certification training requires training and experience in developing relationships with clients, medical professionals and payees, effective communication, disease management, health care management, psychological intervention and developing effective treatment plans. Some courses also require you to work as a case manager for a period of time under supervision, unless you already have documented experience. Becoming certified also means passing a written examination.
If you need course work to prepare, you will find that many schools offer online courses in case management. Course time frames vary from six weeks to about one year. Case managers may specialize in a particular field, such as occupational or physical therapy, or in managing a specific disease, such as diabetes or cancer. Tuition costs to prepare for the exam range from $200 to $300 for independent study courses to over $3000 for formal courses. Both time frame and costs depend on how much prep time you need and what type of certification you wish to obtain.
The average salary for a certified case manager ranges from $50,000 to $70,000 per year. Once you become certified as a case manager, you must take continuing education courses and continue to have good work ethics to keep your certification current . It is always helpful to talk with others who are employed as case managers to find out what a typical work day is like.