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COLLABORATE©: A Universal Competency-Based Paradigm for Professional Case Management, Part II Competency Clarification

Treiger, Teresa M. RN-BC, MA, CHCQM-CM/TOC, CCM; Fink-Samnick, Ellen MSW, ACSW, LCSW, CCM, CRP

doi: 10.1097/NCM.0b013e31829c8a3a

Purpose/Objectives: The purpose of this second article of a 3-article series is to clarify the competencies for a new paradigm of case management built upon a value-driven foundation that

  • improves patients' experience of health care delivery,
  • provides consistency in approach that is applicable across health care populations, and
  • optimizes the potential for return on investment.

Primary Practice Setting(s): Applicable to all health care sectors where case management is practiced.

Findings/Conclusions: In moving forward, the one fact that rings true is that there will be a constant change in our industry. As the health care terrain shifts and new influences continually surface, there will be consequences for case management practice. These impacts require nimble clinical professionals in possession of recognized and firmly established competencies. They must be agile to frame (and reframe) their professional practice to facilitate the best possible outcomes for their patients. Case managers can choose to be Gumby™ or Pokey™. This is exactly the time to define a competency-based case management model, highlighting one sufficiently fluid to fit into any setting of care.

Implications for Case Management Practice: The practice of case management transcends the vast array of representative professional disciplines and educational levels. A majority of current models are driven by business priorities rather than the competencies critical to successful practice and quality patient outcomes. This results in a fragmented professional case management identity. Although there is an inherent value in what each discipline brings to the table, this advanced model unifies behind case management's unique, strengths-based identity instead of continuing to align within traditional divisions (e.g., discipline, work setting, population served). This model fosters case management's expanding career advancement opportunities, including a reflective clinical ladder.

Teresa M. Treiger, RN-BC, MA, CHCQM-CM/TOC, CCM,Principal of Ascent Care Management, LLC, has worked in settings across the health care continuum for more than 25 years. A recognized expert in case management strategies, Teresa has published on case management, technology, professionalism, and transition of care. She served as a primary investigator in the 2010 HIT Survey and was a team member for the 2012 survey update. Teresa is on the National Transition of Care Coalition Board of Directors and served as the National President of the Case Management Society of America, 2010–2011. Her current work encompasses writing, professional education, public speaking, and consulting in the development of integrated care coordination, transition of care, and case management programs and technology solutions.

Ellen Fink-Samnick, MSW, ACSW, LCSW, CCM, CRP,Principal of EFS Supervision Strategies, LLC, is a health care industry expert for 30 years, who empowers the transdisciplinary workforce's competencies through professional speaking, mentoring, and consultation. Ellen is adjunct faculty for George Mason University's College of Health and Human Services, trainer for the National Association of Social Workers, Director of Social Work Education for Athena Forum, Social Media Moderator for Ellen's Ethical Lens©, and Editorial Board member for Lippincott's Professional Case Management. Ellen is a past commissioner and chair of the Ethics and Professional Conduct Committee for the Commission for Case Manager Certification. She has served as an Exam Item writer for the Association of Social Work Boards and the Commission for Case Manager Certification plus a contributor to Case Management Society of America's Career and Knowledge Pathways Project. She is a certified case manager, licensed clinical social worker, and certified rehabilitation provider.

Address correspondence to Teresa M. Treiger, RN-BC, MA, CHCQM-CM/TOC, CCM, Ascent Care Management, LLC, 3 Mosesso Drive, Holbrook, MA 02343 (

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

© 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.