It may sound like a legal term, but in the context of treatment and recovery, case management is the name for services that help patients reintegrate into society after rehab. The exact details of case management may vary depending on the facility and that program’s approach to treatment. But fundamentally, a case manager’s job is to counsel, assist, and come alongside a patient to prepare for — and help manage — life after treatment, ensuring they thrive in recovery.
Why Is Case Management Important?
Case management is where the rubber meets the road in a person’s actual transition back into everyday life. Usually, a case manager will work with a patient even from the point of intake, helping to set expectations, counsel the patient, and conduct assessments of his or her needs as time goes on. The primary goal of case management is “achieving client wellness and autonomy through advocacy, communication, education, identification of service resources, and service facilitation,” according to the Case Management Society of America.
Case management may include:
- Assessing the patient’s capabilities and needs to determine how much assistance he or she will need after treatment (and what kind)
- Helping the patient set treatment and post-treatment goals
- Setting up aftercare, such finding local 12-Step programs, outpatient facilities, or sober companionship
- Working with the patient on developing support systems (family, friends, aftercare)
- Making the patient’s medical appointments and ensuring prescriptions are refilled and picked up
- Helping the patient find appropriate housing and options for work after treatment
Case management is important for many reasons, the most compelling of which is that it provides those in recovery with a single point of contact in the healthcare and social services systems, according to the NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information).