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Leveraging Interprofessional Team-Based Care Toward Case Management Excellence

Part 1, History, Fundamentals, Evidence

Fink-Samnick, Ellen MSW, ACSW, LCSW, CCM, CRP

doi: 10.1097/NCM.0000000000000360

Health care teams continue to be a constructive way to approach, assess, coordinate, plan, and facilitate the care of clients and populations. Independent of practice setting, some type of team is in place, engaging different professionals and specialists. There has been considerable evolution of these teams over the years, with a heritage of terms to frame each one, including “multidisciplinary,” “interdisciplinary,” and “transdisciplinary.” However, these long-standing framings have been replaced by a timelier model that shifts both focus and aim of the team effort. Interprofessional team-based care (IPTBC) sets the tone for how students entering the industry are educated and empowers the workforce to a more intentional means to the care end. This is the first in a 2-part series focusing on the evolution and implementation of IPTBC across the industry. Part 1 focuses on the history and fundamental concepts of interprofessional models. Evidence and outcomes to promote the value proposition for IPTBC implementation are also provided.

Purpose/Objectives: This article:

  1. Reviews the evolution of health care teams;
  2. Defines IPTBC;
  3. Discusses the challenges to implementation of IPTBC; and
  4. Identifies the implications for professional case management.

Primary Practice Setting(s): Applicable to all health and behavioral health settings where case management is practiced.

Findings/Conclusions: Interprofessional team-based care models demonstrate a successful means to achieve client-driven, quality, and cost-effective care across disease states and practice settings.

Implications for Case Management Practice: With case management so closely linked to the fiscal imperatives of organizations, engagement in IPTBC is a necessity for every practice setting. Poor team collaboration contributes to unsuccessful outcomes for clients, increased costs, and concerning quality and risk management issues for the organization. The latest generation of value-based care initiatives and complex population health needs (e.g., social determinants of health, co-occurring physical and behavioral health) translates to greater pressures on case managers to maximize financial risk and attain their share of financial incentives (e.g., bonuses, shared savings) by avoiding readmissions, preventable complications, and duplicate services.

Ellen Fink-Samnick, MSW, ACSW, LCSW, CCM, CRP, is an award winning, industry thought leader who empowers health care's transdisciplinary workforce through professional speaking, writing, mentoring, and consultation. A subject matter expert on ethics, Ellen is an esteemed author with more than 100 publications to her credit. She has authored content for many of the industry's knowledge projects for case managers, including books, chapters, and articles on the Ethical Use of Case Management Technology, Workplace Bullying, Collaborative Care, and the Social Determinants of Health. Her contributions to professional case management, ethics, and clinical social work transverse professional associations and credentialing organizations, including roles as subject matter expert, examination item writer, and leadership positions. She is a vibrant professional voice.

Address correspondence to Ellen Fink-Samnick, MSW, ACSW, LCSW, CCM, CRP, EFS Supervision Strategies, LLC, Burke, VA 22015 (

The author reports no conflicts of interest.

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