CMSA Today - Issue 1, 2013 - (Page 5)

President’s Letter THE COMMUNITY OF CASE MANAGEMENT ver the past few months, our nation has experienced a devastating natural disaster and has come together after spirited national and local elections. We have been challenged, at times, by adversity and have survived — based not only on our individual actions, but also due to the many efforts of a community of volunteers and advocates who took action to make a difference. While the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy has scarred the northeastern American landscape and should never be forgotten, our primary memories should be focused on the uncommon acts of kindness provided by a community of common folks: the volunteers who brought blankets to those without heat; the woman who hauled jugs of water up multiple flights of stairs to assist her elderly neighbors; the baker who drove miles to give fresh bread to the hungry, using his last few gallons of gasoline. These are the American heroes who often go unnoticed. They are the heart of our communities. Their collective actions are like the individual threads of a tapestry that come together to form something beautiful. These acts of kindness ranged from the provision of services on a grand scale to small gifts offered to strangers in need. In seeing these selfless acts, I was reminded of the many services provided by case managers to individuals not devastated by natural disaster, but rather challenged by illness or injury. To me, case managers have a unique ability to light the path and lead the way for these patients and their support systems. I absolutely believe that case managers are the unrecognized heroes of health care delivery in America. Offering a Perfect Symphony of Caring BY NANCY SKINNER, RN-BC, CCM O “Heroes don’t leap tall buildings or stop bullets with an outstretched hand; they don’t wear boots or capes. They bled, and they bruise, and their superpowers are as simple as listening, or caring. Heroes are ordinary people who know that even if their own lives are impossibly knotted, they can untangle someone else’s.” Jodi Picoult However, if we are to move from the shadows of anonymity to stand at the forefront of patient engagement and empowerment, we must be able to quickly react to any change in patient needs while understanding and responding to the transformation of health care payment and delivery that is occurring today, as well as any additional change that might occur tomorrow. In my opinion, case management is moving from a vehicle focused on cost and care monitoring or management to a method of innovation that advances improved quality of care for individuals. It also supports strategies for achieving appropriate and effective health management for populations, all while fostering the careful shepherding of health care dollars and services. Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” I believe that today’s community of case managers is contributing to the changes that will ultimately define health care delivery in America tomorrow. However, in order to do so, we must move away from the common roles of the past that, at times, have become comfortable and almost automatic. To become vital agents of change, we must aggressively move to adopt novel strategies that advance complex care coordination through and across each transition of care. Although we are faced with evolving payment strategies and methods of care provision, we cannot passively follow those changes. We must be willing partners with other members of the multidisciplinary team — including the patient — to understand, develop, promote, and innovate methods of providing care which are focused on health rather than disease; coordinated and consistent rather than episodic and siloed; patient-centered, not providerfocused; and use metrics associated with benefit to the patient and advancement of positive patient outcomes rather than dollars saved or services avoided. continued on page 6 Issue 1 • 2013 • DIGITAL CMSA TODAY 5

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CMSA Today - Issue 1, 2013

Offering a Perfect Symphony of Caring
Promoting Accountability, Collaboration, and Engagement
Little Things, Big Coordination
Spotlight on CMSA’s Award of Service Excellence (AOSE)
Association News
Index of Advertisers
CMSA Corporate Partners

CMSA Today - Issue 1, 2013