Case Manager Assistant Job Description
Case manager assistants are administrative professionals who ensure that patients move through the healthcare system and receive the treatment and rehabilitation they require. They work in hospitals and clinics in a largely independent capacity under the oversight of a case manager proper. Careful, efficient, and personable, they’re responsible for accurately entering patient data and documentation into records systems while interacting with doctors, nurses, insurance agencies, and patients to bring all aspects of a patient’s care together.
Case Manager Assistant Duties and Responsibilities
While a case manager assistant’s specific responsibilities can vary widely based on employer, they’re frequently called on to fulfill several critical functions:
Coordinate Patient Care
The case manager assistant’s role entails liaising with doctors and nurses, patient transfer officers, and community care providers to match identified patient needs to the professionals who can meet them.
Maintain Patient Records
Case manager assistants input details of patients’ medical and treatment status into digital spreadsheets and databases. They may associate relevant documents with those records by scanning them. This ensures that healthcare professionals have the information they need to treat patients appropriately and that the case manager assistant is able to responsibly manage patients’ movement through the system.
Case manager assistants often communicate with payers such as health insurance providers to ensure they know what services to pay for and that they have all the documentation necessary to release those funds. This involves navigating legal obligations surrounding patient privacy and right to care as well as weighing patients’ financial and health needs with diligence and conscience.
Consult with Patients and Families
Case manager assistants may interact with patients and their families to keep them aware of the patient’s treatment status and next steps, any choices that need to be made, and pertinent financial concerns. This may entail making sure out-of-hospital clients attend necessary appointments and becoming familiar with the unique priorities and values of clients and their loved ones.
Case Manager Assistant Skills and Qualifications
Case manager assistants require a broad base of skills to perform their wide-ranging tasks. Employers prefer candidates with related experience who can demonstrate the following competencies:
- Understanding of medical jargon – case manager assistants must be conversant in healthcare terminology to accurately maintain patient records. In particular, they know how to read and write with CPT and ICD codes for treatments and symptoms
- Computer proficiency – the case manager assistant spends most of their time in front of a computer screen communicating with health service and insurance providers and especially maintaining patient records in spreadsheets and databases
- Legal and policy knowledge – a familiarity with legal requirements surrounding healthcare and insurance coverage as well as industry policies and procedures provides the framework in which the case manager assistant conducts their tasks
- Communication skills – case manager assistants must interact verbally and in writing with professionals in multiple industries and with patients and their families. They clearly convey technical information and tactfully deal with patients and clients
- Organization skills – the case manager assistant’s role demands an organized personality to diligently manage error-sensitive information and patient timelines
- Self-motivation – while directed by a case manager, case manager assistants perform much of their work on their own and must manifest both self-discipline and prudence in dealing with patient needs and conflicting priorities
Case Manager Assistant Education and Training
Employers have varying education requirements for case manager assistants. Many require only a high school diploma, though some ask for a university degree. Two or more years of work experience in administration or a healthcare environment are frequently requested. Voluntary certification is available from various professional organizations, though rarely cited in calls for applications. Knowledge of medical terminology is the most valuable asset for a case manager assistant and can be obtained through any of a number of postsecondary healthcare programs, including medical office administration.
Case Manager Assistant Salary and Outlook
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, social and human service assistants (who perform many of the same duties as case manager assistants) earn a median annual salary of $33,120. The lowest earners make less than $21,480, while the highest paid take home more than $53,380.
The BLS expects this field to grow 16 percent by 2026, a rate that’s much faster than average. A growing elderly population with an increasing need for these services will drive most of this growth.
The following resources can assist the aspiring case manager assistant in realizing their career ambition:
American Case Management Association – this industry association offers a variety of resources to help case manager assistants succeed, including job listings, certification programs, news resources, and other member benefits
Case Management Society of America – CMSA encourages the growth and development of case management professionals across the healthcare industry by offering memberships, conferences, and training resources
Case Management: A Practical Guide for Education and Practice – ideal for readers pursuing case management certification, this book both prepares aspiring professionals for a career in the industry and helps current workers upgrade their skill sets
CMSA’s Integrated Case Management: A Manual For Case Managers by Case Managers – this book details a CMSA-tested approach to case management written for case managers by case managers and provides a wealth of information for all professionals in the industry
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