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Rural Health Information Hub

Case Management Model

The Case Management Society of America defines case management as:

“a means for achieving client wellness and autonomy through advocacy, communication, education, identification of service resources and service facilitation.”

Case management uses a client-centered, collaborative approach to provide comprehensive care to patients. Principles of case management include linking clients 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 (SUD) treatment ideally involves accessing a variety of health and social services resources, as discussed in Addressing Social Factors to Support Recovery. The case management model supports individuals as they move through the continuum of care, including recovery.

Examples of Rural 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 SUD, particularly as complexity of care increases.

Resources to Learn More

Comprehensive Case Management for Substance Abuse Treatment
Discusses the critical factors service providers and programs should consider when developing case management services or modifying their current case management activities for substance abuse treatment. Covers assessment, evaluation, quality assurance, identifying partners, funding, and clients with special needs.
Organization: Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Date: 2015