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Case Management Model

The Case Management Society of America defines case management as:

“a collaborative process of assessment, planning, facilitation, care coordination, evaluation, and advocacy for options and services to meet an individual's and family's comprehensive health needs through communication and available resources to promote quality, cost-effective outcomes.”

Case management uses a client-centered, collaborative approach to providing comprehensive care to patients. Principles of case management include linking with community resources, assisting with the navigation of the healthcare system, providing a client with a single point of contact when navigating the health and social service system, and facilitating care. Substance use disorder treatment ideally involves accessing a variety of health and social services resources, as discussed in Module 1 – Treatment and Recovery Support Services. The case management model supports individuals as they move through the continuum of care, including recovery.

Examples of Case Management Programs

  • Center for Community Resources in Butler, Pennsylvania offers drug and alcohol case management services to individuals referred by treatment providers, mental health providers, social services agencies, and self-referrals. Case managers provide assistance by connecting individuals to treatment services, assisting with applications processes like Medicaid and Social Security, and advocating for individuals in various settings.

Considerations for Implementation

Rural communities may have limited social services, and available services may be difficult to access. Case managers may be nurses, social workers, or have expertise in other health disciplines. Case managers are an important source of information about the services available in the community for people with substance use disorders, particularly as complexity of care increases.

Resources to Learn More

Comprehensive Case Management for Substance Abuse Treatment
Information about the application of case management models to substance abuse treatment, including throughout the continuum of recovery.
Organization: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration