Care managers (also referred to as case managers, care coordinators, and service coordinators) are critically important to the success of health plans that integrate care for dually eligible individuals. Care managers enable health plans to identify and address member medical and social needs. Care managers need to have the interpersonal skills to develop trusting relationships with members, as well as the clinical skills to perform a range of tasks such as conducting assessments, developing care plans, and ensuring medication reconciliation. This brief identifies nine strategies to guide the hiring and training of care managers, such as hiring diverse staff with strong community connections, developing tailored training curricula, and standardizing training of delegates. Other strategies underscore the importance of continuous quality improvement in care management programs.
While there is no “one size fits all” approach to hiring and training care managers, the strategies outlined in this tool may support health plans in building stronger relationships with their members with complex health and social needs to help them achieve their personal goals. These strategies may be particularly helpful for health plans with integrated care programs to provide more effective care coordination.