How to Become a Clinical Case Manager

A clinical case manager is usually the first point of contact for an individual in crisis. Clinical case managers work on cases ranging from a domestic dispute to a child endangerment threat, so you have the power to change lives for the better.

Depending on your place of employment, you may work on a specific case type, such as drug rehabilitation, eating disorders, or child abuse. Regardless of the site you work, your job is to evaluate the needs of the client. Clinical case managers perform assessments that help to pinpoint what the problem is. Is the client addicted to drugs or alcohol? Is there mental, physical, or verbal abuse in the home? Does he need medication for a mental or physical illness? (

Once the problem is understood, the clinical case manager works on solutions. If the patient is in the hospital, you may monitor their progress, direct family, and the individual to counseling, and keep records of all actions taken on the case.

Becoming a clinical case manager requires a bachelor’s or master’s degree in social work, and you need to have at least two years of supervised clinical experience after your graduate degree. Do you want to work as a clinical case manager? Keep reading to learn more about this growing and fascinating profession.

What Is Clinical Case Management?

Clinical case management is a collaborative healthcare process of assessment, planning, facilitation, coordination of care, evaluation, and advocacy to meet the patient’s healthcare needs through communication and available resources to ensure patient safety, quality care, and cost-effective results. (

The underlying premise of clinical case management is based on the idea that when the patient obtains the highest level of capability and wellness, all people benefit: the patient, the support system, health delivery system, and assorted reimbursement sources.

Clinical case management is a means to achieve optimum patient wellness and autonomy via advocacy, education, communication, pinpointing patient resources, and service facilitation. The clinical case manager also finds appropriate providers and facilities in the healthcare services field, while making sure all possible resources are being used in an efficient manner to achieve optimum value for the patient and the reimbursement department.

Case management services are offered in a way that allows full communication between the clinical case manager, the patient, and service personnel to optimize the healthcare outcome for all stakeholders.

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What Does a Clinical Case Manager Do?

As a clinical case manager, you will do most of the following: (

  • Provide and coordinate patient care that is timely, effective, safe, efficient, and equitable.
  • Draft service plans, handle clinical case assignments, review case progress, and determine case closure.
  • Help clinical clients achieve autonomy and wellness.
  • Facilitate other case aspects, cush as information sharing and case coordination.
  • Assist patients to make good decisions by being their advocate regarding client status and treatment choices.
  • Develop strong working relationships and partner with medical team during the case management process.
  • Interact with clinical patients and record their progress to ensure satisfaction.
  • Promote cost-effective interventions and outcomes.
  • Use clinical case manager professional standards as laid out in rules, protocols, and regulations.
  • Assess and deal with psychosocial and motivational issues.

Where Do Clinical Case Managers Work?

Clinical case managers and social workers held approximately 707,000 jobs in 2018. Employment for these professionals breaks down into these areas: (

  • Child, family, and school social workers; 339,800
  • Healthcare social workers: 180,500
  • Mental health and substance abuse social workers: 125,200
  • Social workers, all other types: 62,000

The biggest employers of social workers in 2018 were:

  • Individual and family services: 18%
  • Local government: 14%
  • State government: 14%
  • Ambulatory healthcare services: 13%
  • Hospitals: 11%

What Is the Job Outlook for Clinical Case Managers?

The employment of clinical case managers is expected to grow by 11% by 2028, much faster than average. Higher demand for social and healthcare services will boost the demand for social workers. Also, employment for child, family, and school social workers will grow by 7% by 2028. Child and family social workers will be needed to work as clinical case managers with families to boost parenting skills, prevent child abuse, and find alternative homes for children who cannot live with their natural families.

Employment for healthcare social workers will increase by 17% by 2028, which is much faster than average. Healthcare social workers will be needed to help the aging US population and families adjust to new lifestyles, treatments, and medications. (

How Can You Become a Clinical Case Manager?

Working as a clinical case manager generally requires a bachelor’s degree in social work, but clinical or healthcare social workers must have a master’s degree and two years of work experience in a supervised clinical environment. Some employers will hire you if you have a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as sociology or psychology.

If you earn a master’s degree in social work, you will be required to complete a practicum or internship.

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What Do Exams and Licensing Involve?

Most states mandate that clinical social workers have a license. But some states have exemptions for clinical social workers who are employed in government agencies. To be a licensed social worker, it is required to have a master’s degree in social work and a minimum of two years of supervised clinical work experience after you graduate. After completing this supervised experience, you must pass a clinical examination to earn your license.

Because licensing requirements vary by state, those interested in becoming clinical case managers should talk to their state licensure board. You can learn more about each state’s regulatory license board by visiting the Association of School Work Boards.

Becoming a clinical case manager is an exciting career option, given the burgeoning demand for all types of social workers. Now that you have a better idea of what clinical case managers do, you can learn more about online degree options on this site. Please contact us if you have any questions.