The critical work of Veterans Affairs (VA) case managers is to assist and advocate for veterans navigating the VA and civilian health care systems, aligning services, developing integrated care plans, and supporting team-based care (Hunt & Burgo-Black, 2011). The article reviews publications regarding VA case management leadership because case managers who function as leaders are likely to better coordinate health care services for veterans.
Primary Practice Setting:
VA case managers adhere to the Commission for Case Managers (CCM) scope of practice through patient advocacy, education, and resource management, while ensuring the care is safe, effective, and equitable. VA case managers are competent in veteran health care benefits, health care resources, military service, and the prevailing military culture. They work in a variety of clinical settings including more than 1,400 facilities throughout the United States.
The present literature review indicates that few published articles address leadership among VA case managers. Several publications suggest that VA case managers lead, as well as manage, without indicating the extent to which they function as leaders. The literature reviewed indicates an association between unsuccessful program implementation and a lack of staff adaptability, a lack of necessary resources, a lack of ongoing involvement of senior leaders, and a fear of reprisal.
Implications for Case Management Practice:
Because of the 2018 MISSION Act, the number of veterans seeking services in the community has increased and further complicated the coordination of services for VA case managers. Understanding the leadership elements influencing successful care coordination processes is important for veterans to receive high-quality health care services.