CMSA Today - Issue 5, 2015 - (Page 6)

President's Letter Case Management: Public Policy & Election Look-Ahead! BY KATHLEEN FRASER, RN-BC, MSN, MHA, CCM, CRRN W elcome to the public policy issue of CMSA Today! This issue is a call to action for case managers! We give you policy perspectives on issues relevant to health care and case management, to be covered in the upcoming elections. Both our public policy and our multi-state licensure committees work year-round to increase awareness on all health care initiatives that affect case management every day. An example of an issue CMSA has been following, lending our opinions and support, was a hearing entitled, "A Pathway to Improving Care for Medicare Patients with Chronic Conditions." It is a chronic care bipartisan working group formed to analyze current law, discuss alternative policy options, and develop bipartisan legislative solutions. Treatment of chronic illnesses now account for almost 93 percent of Medicare spending, and beneficiaries with six or more chronic conditions accounted for 46 percent of all Medicare spending. Most people with multiple chronic illnesses, which are often accompanied by functional and cognitive deficits, cannot manage their care on their own. Wherever and however they originate, care transitions are about addressing change over time, and this must be addressed in health care reform. Left unresolved, this situation will only worsen, so who better to assist than CMSA. As Helen Keller stated, "Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much." CMSA continues to work very closely and strategically on the Hill with the American Nurses Association (ANA), the National Transitions of Care Coalition (NTOCC), the American Nurses Credentialing Commission (ANCC), and the Commission for Case Management Certification (CCMC). Our joint endeavors continue to elevate the authority and visibility of what is important to our organizations: better health for the nation --- leading to decreased health disparities as well as improved health literacy. More than ever, we have been called upon to educate and empower consumers and provide tools that encourage them to take responsibility 6 CMSA TODAY for their health care. The system is complex and difficult to understand, and patients are searching for assistance in its navigation. Care fragmentation impacts many aspects of the care continuum. Care transition programs need to account for issues like this by beginning the care coordination process when the patient is first admitted to the hospital. If it doesn't appear that the patient will be able to fully function on their own and they do not have a caregiver on which they can rely, then alternative plans need to be arranged so the patient can have a successful transition. Case managers lead the critical role of both patient advocates and financial stewards to ensure the delivery of care and resources are utilized appropriately. Case managers must empower the client to problem-solve by exploring options of care and alternative plans when necessary to achieve desired outcomes. Looking ahead, we will also give you highlights on CMSA Hill Day 2015. On Thursday, September 17, CMSA's National Board, Public Policy Committee along with our CMSA member community of case managers, will unite in Washington D.C., to address the value that professional certified case managers bring to improving transitions of care with patients and their family caregivers. Case managers will meet with their individual representatives from the House and Senate with a unified voice for the need for qualified professional case managers to facilitate safer transitions of care for patients. The Society's leadership will also have the opportunity to engage with members of the Executive Offices of the President to share the same message. Our continued presence in Washington, D.C., as well in our individual state capitals, encourage the development of provisions by clarifying the significance of qualified, licensed, and/or certified case managers in improving care coordination workflow and processes. We not only believe in educating our patients and their caregivers, but also political decision makers. Therefore I will leave you with Issue 5 * 2015 * DIGITAL "Wherever and however they originate, care transitions are about addressing change over time, and this must be addressed in health care reform." a thought from Benjamin Franklin: "Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn." Kathleen Fraser, MSN, MHA, RN-BC, CCM, CRRN President, CMSA National Board of Directors 2014-2016 Kathleen Fraser is the president of CMSA National, and a past president of Houston/Gulf Coast CMSA Chapter. She has over 35 years of nursing experience, and over 21 years of case management experience with 20 years in workers' compensation. Fraser has worked in acute hospital, long-term care, and insurance managed care. She can be reached at

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CMSA Today - Issue 5, 2015

Blazing Trails Together
Public Policy On-the-Go
Making Improvements in Transitions of Care
Building Relationships

CMSA Today - Issue 5, 2015