CMSA'S Pulse eNewsletter


Print this Article | Send to Colleague

CMSA conducted a State of the Industry survey earlier this year. Knowing where we are as professionals practicing case management is essential to us and our industry partners. As we watch the healthcare landscape change, we must be prepared to adapt; knowing our strengths and challenges helps us prepare.

Case management professionals continue to age out, with 51 years being the average age of a case manager in the United States. Some growth occurred between 2019 and 2021 in the 40 and under age group, but certainly not enough to feel confident that the numbers will be adequate to fill the positions of those that will retire in the next 10 – 20 years. Over one-half of the respondents have been in the profession of healthcare for greater than 30 years. Training for case managers remains unstandardized, with most getting on-the-job training. Caseload assignments also remain varied, but the most frequently reported caseloads ranged from 11-30 patients.

Acuity and predictive modeling are tools to help determine patient complexity, but over 36% of respondents reported not using either of these tools. Of those that did measure acuity or complexity, 49% reported not using that data to assign caseloads. Another interesting finding was the lack of standardization and consistency in measuring case management effectiveness.

While this does not summarize the full scope of the survey, these issues should resonate with every case manager. Aging case managers will need to be replaced. Where and how will a diverse and capable workforce be recruited? Will there be adequate experienced case managers available to mentor those less experienced? Many professionals are not prepared for the shift in role and function; the demands most seasoned case managers consider of no consequence could overwhelm an unprepared professional.

The professionals practicing case management need to consider standardization in caseload assignments, determination of acuity or risk, and measurement of case management effectiveness using tools and methods. CMSA is working to provide support in caseload selection, but if acuity or risk are not measured, any instrument used to determine caseloads is likely to be ineffective.

Metrics are part of every healthcare professional’s role and function. Perhaps the thought of tracking more metrics makes everyone cringe, but how else is success measured? In addition, there are ways to utilize currently tracked metrics and case management-specific metrics that would demonstrate case management effectiveness.

These three areas are just a start to standardization in practice which moves case management to recognition as a profession. Standardization results in consistent outcomes that lead to credibility and strengthening our position in the healthcare team. CMSA will continue to examine data and findings from our practice to improve our progression toward recognition as a profession, career growth, and satisfaction, but we all must begin to have serious conversations about standardization in practice.


Back to CMSA'S Pulse eNewsletter